The project brief for Rotherham, Doncaster, South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH,) was to improve the care and environments in older people’s mental health inpatient services.
Iconic images from the past were used to brighten wards and inspire memories in older people at The Woodlands in Rotherham. The images prompt older people with dementia to remember things from their past and create talking points for them and their families.
The Picture This image system was installed on two wards: The Ferns, where people with dementia receive extended care; and The Glades, an assessment unit. In The Ferns, historic moments from years gone by now brighten the walls, including the first man landing on the moon and the Beatles. In The Glades, the staff chose a transport theme, with pictures of London buses, vintage cars, trams and aeroplanes.
Liz Copley, consultant occupational therapist for RDaSH, says: “In Rotherham ward teams have chosen themes of the 60s and 70s – with iconic images from these decades now decorating the wards. It’s about sparking a memory: patients who are able to have conversations are saying how nice it is and they are talking about what kind of cars they drove and what age they were when they got their first car.”
Photographic murals in the main areas, of scenes of nature, also help bring a sense of calm and connection with the outdoors.
“New Vision has worked hard to understand the challenges of working in dementia wards. It has been a pleasure to work with Tony Stead and Craig Fellows; they have worked collaboratively, innovatively and reliably with us to meet the requirements and deadlines of the project and have taken time to particularly understand the specific needs and challenges faced in our specialist dementia setting.”