Mayor Opens Indoor Beach And Garden At Essex Care Home
Loughton’s mayor, Cllr Stephen Murray, has officially opened two new sensory rooms that bring the sounds and smells of the beach and the garden into a care home in Loughton, Essex.
Woodland Grove care home on Rectory Lane has brought the outside in for the 20 residents living with dementia on Snowdrop, its dementia care floor, to stimulate their senses and to bring back fond memories. The beach room allows them to sit with their feet in the sand, dig sandcastles and smell the sea air while in the garden room residents can walk on the grass, listen to birdsong and pot seedlings. Both spaces have been designed by the home’s Dementia Care Manager, Jane Hare.
“People with dementia can’t always access the garden independently but the sensory stimulation it gives them can help them to feel relaxed and happy,” said Jane. “By bringing the soil and the feel of grass into the home they have a space they can access safely. Because they can go into the room whenever they want to it also gives them greater independence.
“These familiar settings remind them of pottering round the garden or family holidays by the sea so they also help people to feel good and reduce feelings of anxiety.”
People’s behaviour in the rooms gives Jane and her staff essential information about their likes and dislikes.
“Seeing what people enjoy helps us to learn more about them – what they like, who they are – especially when they are non-verbal and can’t tell us what they’re feeling. Their body language and expressions tell us a great deal so we can provide the tailored, personalised care they deserve.”
One resident is reliving a life-long love of sunbathing, thanks to the new room designs. She moved into Woodland Grove three years ago but rarely came out of her room. Now, she sits with her sunhat and sunglasses on, enjoying the sounds and smells of the beach and her happy memories.
The garden room has been sponsored by local business, Carpets 4 Less in Loughton. Owner, Mark Cottam, said he was delighted to provide the artificial grass flooring together with £500 towards kitting the garden room out.
“It’s great to be able to support our local community and to know that we’ve contributed to the wellbeing of the residents here. And it’s wonderful to see it in situ!”
The beach and garden rooms at the 72-bed care home were officially opened on Thursday 20th September by Councillor Murray.
“I’m really impressed by the two new facilities here at Woodland Grove,” he said. “Speaking on behalf of local residents in Loughton, we are absolutely delighted that this is available in our area. Residents will be truly stimulated by these rooms and the dedicated, professional staff are to be congratulated for what they have achieved here.”