Creating that Out and About Feel for Dementia Residents at Wesley Mission
For me as an Artist and Decorator, and someone with a passion for helping folks suffering from all the issues that come with Dementia, it was an honor to be asked to renovate the foyer at Wesley Mission’s reid Court, Sinnamon Park.
Manager, Kim Walford, only requested that I “bring the outside in”.
As I purveyed the existing architecture, with its exposed plumbing, large spaces, metal doors and flat lighting, Industrial and retro came to mind. However, how to bring the outside in with a retro industrial styling?
Once you have a style worked out, there’s no limit to imagination. The rest is about resourcefulness, i.e. where to get all the props. Environmental design for Dementia is much improved when that environment is interactive. Interactivity is requested from our clients all the time, but I have found that if we only install the art and leave the staff to source and install props – it doesn’t happen. Nowadays, Tailored Artworks do it all.
So, bringing the outside in! My thoughts were to create a park theme! That hit the mark with Kim. We expressed our park theme with new grass green carpet, tree street art, a tree cupboard, a shop and cinema walk, touch of bright blue sky silhouetting a street cat (my favorite – Garfield!) above a richly colored brick plant up wall and tropical Monsterio Delicios, and…a fabulous mid-century modern Jackson Pollock style painting of a Brisbane landmark – The South bank Walkway.
With an all white canvas, what a joy it has been to give Reid Court dementia residents color and fun and that feeling of being out and about. We added style, heaps of touchy freely texture and atmosphere with Haymes Artisan feature walls in their Iron and Rust, Rendercoat and Industrial effects, purposefully balancing these large sections of color about the space for increased way finding.
Our new Individual Dementia Residents Room Door Wraps enhanced the space’s retro style with the purple door being a massive hit with everyone!
For the shop and cinema theme, we sourced and decoupaged original movie posters and product ads onto windows and walls, and are adding more ads in a few weeks. We purposefully selected vibrant 1950’s advertising posters featuring well known, and thus relevant, brand names, children and Australian products as a point of interest to not only residents but visiting families, especially children.
Of interest to me, spending three weeks on site at Reid Court, was resident Joan. Joan in the morning would be happy but subside into tears and bawling by 11 am and so it was with pleasure that I noted Joan’s sunny spell enduring as I increased color, warmth and atmosphere within her space. Likewise, other residents revealed at the colors as the vision progressed from all white to industrial rusts and charcoals, to the full effect.
How wonderful it is to positively affect such deserving members of our community simply though a cosmetic renovation inspired by their existing space to save costs and add art, Haymes Artisan Features and some fantastic interactive props. For me, helping managers with environmental design for dementa is not only fun and intellectually rewarding but, an honor.