Developed in conjunction with Silk Healthcare’s Belvedere Manor, their Group Entertainments Manager, Tony Grundy is delighted with the difference it has made to the lives of their residents.
Coming into a Care Home can be particularly daunting and doubly so for someone with dementia, so we wanted to create a themed area with a focus on entertainment and fun. A lot of residents with dementia tend to walk up and down the corridors, some with their coats on, so what we decided to do was to give a focal point to where they could head for and what better place to head for than the seaside. I had seen the LifeWalls from Little Islands and thought one would be perfect for the job, but as we were fundraising for it we would need something more affordable, so they made us a smaller self-contained version to mount on the wall, the LifeByte. They also provided coloured lighting and helped decorate the walls, which really set the mood. We’ve now been able to add a Beach Hut and Post Box as extra funds have come in.
We use the LifeByte with both large groups and one to one and for all kinds of different activities, including Reminiscence, Music, Singing, Games and Relaxation. Our residents find the sound of the sea and waves very calming and relaxing and it has created a really nice atmosphere to the Dementia Suite.
We’ve had comments from the residents such as “I’m coming to the seaside and pretending to be here, it’s lovely” and “I love having my egg and bacon by the seaside”, which must be why we’re getting more empty plates at mealtimes!
Our Suite Manager Stacey says the LifeByte sets an atmosphere for the residents to come in to. They’ve got something to talk about and things to do; it gives staff something to start talking about with the residents and they enjoy it. The lighting, the sound of the waves, the bright sunshine and the music really draw the resident in, one of them said “oh, we’re at Blackpool, but where’s my cone of chips”. So now on themed days we serve cones of chips, hot dogs or ice creams. Relatives come in to help out, serving refreshments, reciting poetry, singing and even acting as host, they think it’s amazing!