How to make hospice bedrooms more peaceful

Here at Innova, we work with a lot of hospices. Over the past few years, we have noticed a real increase in the number of refurbishment projects that focus on creating rooms that are peaceful and homely, as well as functional.

Our hospice clients are, more and more often, choosing beds and other furniture that actually looks good and doesn’t make the room feel clinical. Even care equipment is being adapted so it is less noticeable in the patient’s personal space!

We are thrilled to see this move towards prioritising interior design in hospices. The carers and staff in hospices have always been empathetic and supportive – we should know, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know plenty over the years! But moving into hospice care can be a frightening and unsettling time for both the patient and their family.

How can interior design help?

The latest edition of Care Management Matters (CMM) included an insightful article about a carer’s perspective of hospice care. It highlighted that the families’ needs are often, unintentionally of course, overlooked.

To help combat this, CMM recommended that hospice staff regularly ask,

“How was the experience of carers who attended your organisation this week?”

Unfortunately, a lot of the time the answer will be “stressful”. Interior design may seem unimportant under these circumstances. But actually, seeing that their loved one has a cosy and well-designed bedroom can be extremely comforting for families.

This article inspired us to put together a guide full of advice on how to make a hospice bedroom more peaceful. Take a look at our top tips, from simple touches like paint and soft furnishings through to larger changes to beds and equipment.

1/ Choose calming colours

Research has found that different colours can evoke different feelings in people – you can read our guide on choosing colours for care homes for more information.

When repainting hospice bedrooms, you can use these colour theories to help you make the room more peaceful.

Which colours are peaceful and calming?

Blue is the colour most traditionally associated with feelings of calm and peacefulness. This makes it a great option when painting a hospice bedroom!

If you are looking for something more neutral or sophisticated, then shades of brown or grey are also a good choice.

Peaceful bedroom at St Peter's Hospice
St Peter’s Hospice used shades of blue and grey to create a tranquil bedroom

Brown can induce feelings of warmth and security, whilst grey can be very relaxing if you pick the right shade. Just be careful not to go for anything too dull or cold!

2/ Add homely accessories

Repainting bedrooms won’t always be an option in hospices due to budget and time constraints. Not to worry though, adding some simple accessories can be a cheaper and quicker alternative to make a room more peaceful.

Once again, colour can be an effective way to make an impact. Choose cushions, curtains, bedding, or anything else you can think of, in shades of blue, grey or brown!

The personal touch

Introducing calming colours is a great way to make a room feel more generally peaceful, but there’s a lot to be said for adding a personal touch. After all, people are usually at their most comfortable when they are in familiar surroundings.

You can speak to the patient, or their family, to find out more about what they like or which places they enjoyed visiting before they came to the hospice. This information can then be used to add accessories which will help to make the room more peaceful for that individual patient.

For example, if you have a patient that loves dogs then try adding a cushion featuring a picture of their favourite breed. This is a small gesture that could be really soothing for them and their family.

Accord Hospice soft furnishings
A vibrant floral cushion brightens up this bedroom at Accord Hospice

If possible at your hospice, you could even see if the patient would like to bring in any of their own accessories to decorate their bedroom. This can help to make the hospice feel more like home.

Of course, checks will need to be done before adding any new accessories. This is to ensure they don’t pose an infection risk, or any other threat, to the patients.

3/ Make it more than just a bedroom

In hospices, some patients will spend almost all their time in their bedroom. This can be particularly distressing for relatives who don’t like to think of their loved one being confined to a single room.

Space permitting, adding additional loose furniture to create a living area can really help to provide a sense of peace and normality for the patient and their family.

Seating is a popular choice. You can add a chair near the window or tv to give the patient other options besides sitting in their bed.

We offer a range of stylish modern seating, as well as specialist rise and recline chairs, so there are options to suit patients with different needs.

Willow Burn Hospice Loose Furniture
An armchair, desk and small table with a pair of chairs create defined areas in this Willow Burn Hospice bedroom

If you’re looking for something different, like bedside cabinets or coffee tables, take a look at our full furniture range.

4/ Say goodbye to clinical-looking beds & hoists

Caring for patients is the number one priority in a hospice. Equipment like care beds and hoist systems play a huge part in enabling this. Historically though, this equipment has been bulky, clinical-looking and intimidating for patients and their families. It certainly wasn’t in-keeping with creating a peaceful environment.

Innovations in the industry mean this no longer needs to be the case! You can get care beds that wouldn’t look out of place in a 5-star hotel and hoisting systems that fold away into a cupboard when they aren’t in use. These help to make hospice bedrooms feel like bedrooms rather than hospital rooms.

Here are some of the best options available:

Stylish care beds

The Liberta is a unique bed with mesh side panels instead of the typical siderails. They offer the same level of security, whilst being much more attractive and giving the patient a less obstructed view.

Liberta Bed in peaceful blue and grey hospice bedroom

The sleek range is available in 12 finishes as standard, with additional special designs available on request if you’re looking for something specific that really works with your room.

There’s no style over substance here though! The Liberta is a profiling bed – it is split into sections that can be moved individually to adjust to the patient’s needs. This type of bed provides high levels of comfort and support.

Check out our full range of profiling care beds for even more options.

The award-winning Integralift

The Integralift is our very own hidden hoist system. It folds out quickly and easily for patient transfers and then tucks away back into a cupboard above the bed. When it isn’t in use, you wouldn’t even know there was a hoist in the room!

Integralift in peaceful bedroom at Willow Burn Hospice
The Integralift at Willow Burn Hospice can be concealed when not in use

Its subtle design comes at no compromise to patient safety. In fact, it is built to minimise the areas where dirt and dust can settle, reducing bacteria and making the Integralift infection control friendly.

As with the care beds, the Integralift is also available in a range of colours and finishes to help it blend in even more.

Summary

Spending time in a hospice can be stressful for patients and their families. But interior design can be a simple yet effective way to make a hospice bedroom more peaceful. Choosing calming colours, adding decorative accessories and loose furniture, and opting for less clinical care beds and hoists can help patients to feel at home.

If you want more advice on creating a peaceful hospice environment, get in touch! We offer professional interior design consultation.

Ask our team about interior design in your hospice