Residents who were involved in redecorating communal space were three times more likely to use that space than before.
Professor Alex Haslam discussing designs with a resident.

Social, Environmental and Organisational research group

The effects of involving groups of residents in the redecoration of residential lounges

Researchers from the SEORG, the Cognition group and PRISM have recently completed a major study in a Care Home in Taunton, looking at the effects of involving groups of residents in the redecoration of residential lounges.

Catherine Haslam, Alex Haslam, Craig Knight, Ilka Gleibs and Lauren- Grace McCloskey conducted the study over a two-month period, and it was also filmed as part of a 45 minute programme on Health and Ageing - "The Science of the Young Ones" that will be broadcast at 10.45pm on BBC1 on September 22nd.

The study found that relative to control conditions in which residents were not involved in these decisions, substantial improvements were seen on measures of memory, attention, life- satisfaction and social identification. Moreover, residents who were involved in redecorating communal space were three times more likely to use that space than before and four times more likely to use it than residents who were not involved in the decision-making process.

The results are currently being written up for publication, and are an important part of a four-year ESRC-funded project that is now nearing completion.