St Joseph’s Residential and Nursing Home in St Helier, has completely transformed its specialist dementia care unit with the help of local artist, Joanne Creavey.
Under the guidance of Colette Bonner, Dementia Policy Advisor for LV Group, Joanne was given the task of transforming grey walls into a therapeutic environment for residents.
Joanne is herself a former nurse. Liaising with Colette, they decided to bring nature and the outdoors into the home. Joanne painted a calming garden scene, with flowers and butterflies, and even a life-size cow head. Colette introduced an indoor planted area so that residents could touch the earth and plants, and laid artificial grass to give them the sensory feeling of walking in a garden.
In another area, Joanne painted a beach scene, and the sound of seagulls is played through iPads to evoke the atmosphere.
Colette received her Masters from Stirling University, which is recognised worldwide for its dementia design expertise. She is passionate about the therapeutic benefits good design can provide.
Tracey Gentry, Clinical Director with LV Group commented: “There is a tremendous amount of research which shows that keeping the environment calm reduces medication and improves behaviour. Joanne and Colette have together created wonderfully relaxing scenes so that our residents can sit and enjoy the benefits of a garden and beach in a safe and secure space.
“It is so important that dementia patients are allowed to wander freely and touch and experience their environment, but in a controlled way. This reduces frustration and anxiety.”
The St. Joseph’s Residential and Nursing Home looks after 16 dementia residents in its Caroline Shepherd Ward, and is a part of the locally owned, LV Care group which provides high quality residential and home care for Islanders.