Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mural provides soothing escape for long-term residents

Here is an idea for Activities directors,long term care staff of those with and without dementia, and caregivers
The Record


A forest and rolling landscape has sprouted at a Kitchener long-term care home, providing a soothing escape for residents with dementia who felt trapped behind a door that was secured for their safety.

The exit is now hidden behind the brush strokes of a local artist, and a whole new world has opened at The Westmount. Final touches were being put on the mural -- stretching 40 feet and from floor to ceiling -- just in time for Christmas.

The door was distressing to some first-floor residents, who have memory loss and forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, and are prone to wandering and looking for ways out.

"The residents become a little anxious and agitated by that because they can't get through the doors," said Amie Wilker, resident support services manager.

That's tough on staff and family too.

"It's heartbreaking to exit and hear them behind you at the door," Wilker said. "Families always had a hard time with that."

She knew a mural the whole article

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