Bupa’s Balcarres Care Home, in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, is set to create a flourishing social hub, providing unique benefits for its residents living with dementia.
The project is the first of its kind among Bupa Care Homes across the UK.
The home has already introduced a putting green and bus stop cafe to its garden space. Now, Balcarres Care Home will continue to break new ground, with plans to add a working post office, grocer’s and thrift shop, all of which are specifically designed to help those living with dementia to connect with previous memories.
The current garden features have been provided with help from the Dundee community, with one local individual constructing the putting green by hand, and Dundee City Council donating the bus stop.
Lynne McLean, Home Manager at Bupa’s Balcarres Care Home and the guiding force behind the project, is thrilled at the difference the project has already made for the residents.
She said: “We are so excited to see the reaction from the residents once the new ‘village’ features are completed in the garden. They are such clever and simple ideas that I’m sure other care homes will want to view what we have done.
“The creation of the bus stop cafe and putting green is so important to help people living with dementia. It allows them to re-connect with previous memories or recognisable social surroundings in a safe and familiar environment.
“We are very excited to continue to expand this project and add the post office, grocers and thrift shop, as these kinds of features have been proven to provide residents living with dementia with cognitive stimulation which relieves any feelings of anxiety and confusion.
“We are aiming to make it as authentic as possible for the residents so the shops will have opening and closing times throughout the day and we will take them out in small groups so it will be like a real day out. We even have fake money so they can actually purchase the products.
“We always aim to provide the highest level of care to all our residents and we believe the ‘village life’ setting is a fresh and innovative way in which to do this.”
Lynne explained where the concept to develop the project at Balcarres Care Home came from.
She said: “The bus stop cafe was the main trigger for the rest of the features. Once we had the bus stop, I thought ‘Why don’t we add more onto this?’
“We are very thankful to all the kind and generous people who have lent a hand to date, and would encourage anyone living locally who would be keen to get involved with the project to get in touch, so we can continue to provide the residents with even more beneficial facilities and features in the near future.”