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Home > News > Pragmatic Solutions to Care – Gregg Latchams in conversation with Elaine Hollerhead, Interior designer and occupational therapist at DESIGNATE

Pragmatic Solutions to Care – Gregg Latchams in conversation with Elaine Hollerhead, Interior designer and occupational therapist at DESIGNATE

04 October 2019 | Heledd Wyn

In the run up to our Pragmatic Solutions to Care Event  ,on the 15th October, we are interviewing members of the Pragmatic Practitioners. The Pragmatic Practitioners aim for better, more professional assistance to people at difficult times in their lives. These may be disabled people, those experiencing mental health difficulties or elderly people. Some of these people may be in vulnerable situations.

This week we sat down with Elaine Hollerhead, Interior designer and occupational therapist at DESIGNATE, the Bristol based health-focused interior design consultancy. Elaine founded DESIGNATE in 2011 and since then has been working across the country to create health inclusive designs, using mainstream products instead of disability specific equipment. This way, Elaine can seamlessly produce non-clinical environments and solutions for individuals and families.


  1. What does the Pragmatic Care event mean to you?

An opportunity to meet with health practitioners and others who are aware of issues in the system and wish to improve communication and care for individuals and families.

  1. What is your job and what do you do within this role?

I am an Interior Designer and a HCPC registered Occupational Therapist and have my own company. Currently I am the only practitioner in the UK who holds qualifications in both disciplines. This enables me to create beautiful 21st century design solutions for people of all ages, giving them the ability to manage minor or major health conditions with dignity and enjoy aspirational living.

  1. How does your job/role interact/cooperate with the care industry at the moment?

Standard care equipment is currently clinical, ugly and antiquated. I am passionate in encouraging manufacturers to re-design /design products that are fully inclusive and attractive to everyone.  

Most manufacturers are reluctant to embrace changes, but I am happy to work closely, both as an Interior Designer and Occupational Therapist, with those who are ‘forward thinking’. I have worked closely with Impey Showers in the design of their Slim-fold Shower Bench / Seat.

This product is space-saving, modular, safe, attractive and can be supplied in a variety of colours.

Care Homes invariably have dull uninspiring décor and I believe passionately that surroundings have a positive or negative effect on mental health. I welcome working with Care Managers who aim to provide stimulating and colourful environments for their residents.

  1. What do you think the future looks like in the care industry?

I think within the next 10 years there will no longer be places in Residential Care Homes and Nursing Homes for elderly people who do not have either dementia or long-term / terminal conditions. 

Therefore, alternatives such as multi-generational living or live-in care will become the norm. These are already options to traditional care but are not well known. Choice is paramount and we need to raise awareness that these options exist.

All profits from the event will be shared equally between the dementia research charity BRACE and Bristol Dementia Action Alliance . To secure your place please visit:

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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