Residents at Rivermede Court care home in Egham, all at different stages of their dementia journey, have created an inspiring and insightful art installation to raise awareness of living with dementia.
They have decorated a fence leading to the garden at the luxury care home with over 40 hand-painted different sized butterflies and set this against a background of a blue sky (forget-me-not colour blue) to remember those who are no longer with us. At the bottom of the fence are a row of forget-me-nots – these flowers are widely associated with dementia and represent remembrance.
The Rivermede Court residents decided to include a gap in the forget-me-nots on the bottom of the fence to symbolize the memories lost by dementia.
Candice O’Neill, General Manager at Rivermede Court said,
“This project was spearheaded by our Activities Co-Ordinator, Hanka Vlhova and carer, Sharna Watkins but all the creative ideas came from our wonderful residents who thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this initiative.
“The artwork is stunning – the residents used butterflies to symbolize three things: the rare butterfly moments that don’t last long but stay with you forever, the different shapes and sizes of butterflies that symbolize the different types of stages of dementia, and the movement of butterflies shows the ups and downs along the journey of living with dementia.
“The residents took the artwork one step further by photographing it with shadows of people along the fence. This represents the loved ones in our minds. It is a very powerful artwork and we are all so proud of the residents who created it. Dementia not only affects people who are living with this illness but also affects their loved ones who are supporting them on their dementia journey. It is so important that we keep raising awareness of dementia and continue to find ways to improve the lives of everyone who is impacted.
”Hanka Vlhova added, “Art is just one of the many activities that we organise for our residents to support cognitive stimulation therapy (CST). CST allows groups of older adults with memory loss to interact with others, have meaningful activities and improve their quality of life. We know how important it is to offer cognitive activities such as painting – so this art installation enabled our residents to complete every stage of this initiative using CST, and has brought so many benefits to our residents.”