Did you know that people with learning disabilities are at an increased risk of developing dementia, and often at a younger age, than people who don’t have a learning disability? The numbers of people under 65 living with a learning disability and younger onset dementia are growing.

That’s why our new Ryeford Court service has been purpose built and equipped to address the unique circumstances that someone with both a learning disability and dementia faces. The service is designed to give people the chance to live well with dementia in an environment that is both homely and enabling.

A good example that illustrates this is how we’ve approached sight and light.

  • As people grow older, it helps to have extra light in order to help people see more clearly. So Ryeford Court has been designed to provide maximum light with a large window and glass-panelled door in each room.
  • The grounds include patio areas for each person to help them enjoy the sunshine – Vitamin D is vital for bone strength and helps protect against damage from falls.
  • Smooth matt surfaces make it easier to locate objects – and your way around a building – as they reflect less light. So a matt finish has been selected for surfaces such as worktops in the kitchen wherever possible.
  • Door frames and grab rails have been painted dark grey to create a contrast with the cream walls – allowing people to move around more easily, especially when sleepy, or in a hurry.
  • Movement sensors trigger lights at night time, allowing people that need to use the toilet to get there as quickly and easily as possible.
  • Did you know that as a person’s sight fails, red is one of the last colours that the eye can easily identify. For this reason, toilet seats at Ryeford Court have been painted red to ensure easy identification ‘in a hurry’.
  • Instead of names, we’ve installed ‘memory boxes’ on the outside of bedroom doors, to help the people we support with both recognition, and to trigger memories of who they are.  For example, one of the people we support is a big Dr Who fan, so his memory box is filled with Dr Who figures. Simple but effective.

These represent just a few of the many ways in which we’ve tailored Ryeford Court to the needs of the people that will be living there.  If you’re looking for a learning disability support provider that can personalise support packages to individual needs, give us a call.