Western Home Communities Receives International Dementia Award for “Design Innovation of the Year”

Western Home Communities in Cedar Falls, Iowa recently received international recognition for an innovative design collaboration with Orfield Laboraties and AHTS Architects. The group received the “Dementia Design Innovation of the Year Award” which was presented during the International Dementia Conference in Birmingham, U.K. in November. The award recognizes communal or private settings used by people with dementia that demonstrate good design.

The CottagesOrfield Laboratories of Minneapolis is an architectural and product lab that has made the first attempt to develop perceptual and cognitive standards to be used in the design of optimal living environments for older adults with dementia. Western Home Communities worked in collaboration with the lab to help develop those standards. AHTS Architects applied the standards in the design and development of The Cottages, two small house nursing homes for 32 residents with dementia. The Cottages at Western Home Communities opened its doors in June 2015 and is the first of its kind.

“[The ultimate goal of the project is to ensure that] residents can retain the perceptual values to thrive and live with as much functionality in the environment as possible,” commented Kris Hansen, President & CEO of Western Home Communities.

The group will continue to test, refine and develop additional standards as needed based on the outcomes of this project. They will also explore possible applications and additional technologies to ensure the standards are met.

To learn more about this exciting member project or the Dementia Design Innovation Award, click here.