Team create sensory delight for elderly residents

Envision’s team at Hodge Hill Sports and Enterprise College have been showing residents at their local care home Bromford Lane that they care about the older generation by creating a new sensory room for dementia patients at the centre.

The team felt that old people are too often forgotten by society and they wanted to do something that demonstrated how young people do care about the older generation and see them as important members of the community.

They began their project by volunteering their time at the centre and getting to know the residents. Their time spent working with the residents and alongside centre staff helped them identify a way they felt could make a real difference to the care home.

They heard staff talking about sensory therapy which uses sensory stimulus to help calm patients with dementia and enhance their well-being. The centre didn't have a sensory room so the team decided to create one for them. They located a disused room at the home and began to raise money to fund the renovation. They organised fundraisers at school and successfully applied for £300 funding from 02 Think Big.

Bringing a smile to the resident’s face when seeing the room has been the best part of the whole project. 

Nathan Walsh, Envision team member

With the funding secured and the designed agreed with the centre manager the team began the transformation of the room.

They redecorated the room then installed a variety of sensory items such as lights, textiles and tactile wall fittings as well as music which has been shown to decrease agitation and improve sleep in dementia sufferers.

The team had fundraised so successfully they were also able to install a second dimension to the room filled. This part of the room they filled with vintage furniture and art so that it can be used for another time of therapy called, reminiscence therapy, which uses the recollection of the past to improve welfare in the present. 

It was brilliant to have the students volunteer at the home, the residents loved having them there and it has led to some real friendships. What I thought was amazing was how you could tell that the students really engaged and really listened. It’s been a great experience for me as well as the home and we are extremely grateful for the time and work the students have put in.

Yvonne Williams, Activities Manager of Bromford Lane Care Centre

The room will now be available for use of residents and staff as part of their dementia care.