There is a lot to consider when it comes to care home refurbishments, with the main question being: how do care homes safely and effectively manage their residents without causing too much disruption and distress? We caught up with Mark Jackson, Key Account Manager – Care Sector, to find out why opting for adhesive free floor coverings can limit the impact on daily operations.
With over 20 years’ experience as a project manager within a retail environment, Mark joined Forbo five years ago as a key account manager. Using his previous project management experience he has worked closely with End User clients, Architects, Designers and Contractors to successfully deliver national projects. As the Forbo Key Account Manager for private healthcare, Mark has also attended a number of additional training courses in Designing for Dementia and is ideally situated to assist larger clients within private care and cure sectors in determining the best products for their needs, and subsequently managing their stock framework to ensure availability of specified items for all new projects and ongoing refurbishment programmes.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, where the importance of keeping care homes safe, clean and well-maintained is even more consequential than before, a change of flooring can give individual spaces, such as private bedrooms, a little refresh, or perhaps be used to incorporate zoning within the communal areas to aid social distancing. While this is an attractive idea, planning for renovations within a live care home environment can prove to be challenging.
Residents may be physically impaired or living with dementia and due to round-the-clock care and disruption, closures are not an option. Meanwhile, disturbance can cause anxiety amongst residents as well as difficulties for staff. Therefore, care home managers must carefully consider how refurbishment works will affect daily operations and how best to manage the safety and wellbeing of residents pre-, during and post-refurbishment.
For example, moving residents out of familiar surroundings for long periods of time could lead to distress and confusion. For bedroom renovations, staff will need to find a vacant room, bringing all of the resident’s belongings with them, and furniture will also need to be moved and stored elsewhere for the refit to take place.
Opting for floor coverings that are traditionally glued down may take several days to install, depending on the size of the area; long disruptions that care homes simply do not have time for. Therefore, adhesive free products offer the most viable solution as they have been designed for projects where a quick turnaround and minimal downtime are essential. Products can often be installed over an existing floor, eliminating the need for machinery or mechanical aids to remove floors that were previously well adhered. By opting for adhesive free floor coverings, such as our Fast Fit range, the room being fitted will only be out of action for a minimal amount of time.
As Fast Fit products are quick and easy to install, this means that fitters will be on site for less time; a major advantage as care homes may be hesitant to have tradespeople on site for too long, while concerns over infection control due to the coronavirus remain. What’s more, during refurbishment, lingering odours, dust, noise and other constraints usually associated with traditional installations are eliminated, contributing positively to the wellbeing of staff and residents.
Once the flooring has been fitted, no application or drying time needs to be factored into the project as the installation is completely free of adhesives. The area can be walked on immediately, wheelchairs can be rolled over straight away and furniture can be put back in its original place.
What’s more, with around 850,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia and 70 per cent of those living in care homes said to have some form of dementia or severe memory problems , it is vital that care homes are designed and refurbished to be dementia-friendly. The choice of flooring plays a fundamental role in creating a supportive living environment, as not only does it impact safety and orientation but when used correctly, can provide confidence, security and independence.
Forbo has partnered with The University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) to review over 1000 floor finishes and their suitability for use in dementia-friendly environments . Rated 1a (can be used indiscriminately), 1b (can be used throughout) or 2 (use with caution), there are a range of DSDC accredited designs available within the Fast Fit range to support dementia-friendly interiors.