It might be rather unusual for residents to be invited to draw on the walls, but that is exactly what residents in the specialist dementia unit at Forest Care Village in Borehamwood can do, thanks to a new art suite created by staff.
In the room which is now dedicated to drawing and writing, one whole wall has been painted with blackboard paint, meaning that residents can make good use of the chalks provided to create temporary fresco masterpieces, which can then be wiped away and started again.
“Those living with dementia will often choose to do activities linked to an earlier part of their lives, especially childhood, so the art suite caters for this 24 hours a day,” comments Richard Lever, who leads many of the activities within the home, and who designed the new room. “Within minutes of us having finished the work on the room, residents were already using it – one using the chalks on the wall, and another sat at the bureau writing.”
The art suite is just one of a number of specially dedicated, themed rooms for residents living with dementia in the home, including a reminiscence room which is designed to look like a living room from the 1960s or 70s. Plans are also underway to transform the dining room into a 1950s-style American diner!
The dementia unit forms just one part of the care provision at Forest Care Village, with other specialist units in the 165 bedroom home caring for people young and old with neuro- and spinal injuries, neurological disorders and a range of disabilities that require residential nursing care 24 hours a day or simply occasional respite care. The centre includes a purpose-built physiotherapy suite, sensory areas and enclosed gardens for residents as well as a dedicated Lifestyles Team. Forest Care Village is one of twelve homes in the Forest Healthcare Group, spread across London and the South East.