Care home staff build replica village in Suffolk for dementia sufferers

This replica village high street has been built at a care home in Suffolk for people suffering with dementia
Photo: SWNS

A replica village, complete with shops, a post office and a village green, has been built to help dementia sufferers help bring some of their memories.

The village green with replica shops is at Baylham Care Centre between Ipswich and Needham Market, in Suffolk. Staff have also left half-finished tasks around the centre to help residents who suffer from dementia Credit: SWNS

The village boasts a butcher’s, bakery, greengrocer’s, sweet shop, haberdashery and post office, all designed to look like shops from the 1950s – when many of the residents were young adults.

Manager Sandie Oxborrow said reminiscing about the past was important when dealing with dementia. Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said:

The village gives the residents the ability to have a normal life with meaningful engagements rather than just activities which fill in time.

It’s important for them to be busy and have a purpose.

‘Often they say, “I need to go to the shops”, so we created the shopping village.

In the middle of the village we have created a park where we have planted some flowers and bushes so people feel like they’ve gone to the park to feed the ducks.

One of the rooms inside has been transformed into a train station waiting room Credit: SWNS

The care centre’s aim was to establish a familiar village green setting that many patients could relate to.

One Response to Care home staff build replica village in Suffolk for dementia sufferers

  1. Jackie Pool says:

    Great idea to a degree but, wouldn’t it be better still if the features were real instead of just ‘fronts’? And also, if there is actually a park within the grounds, why are staff describing the residents experience as ‘feeling like’ they have been? Surely they actually have been.

    Providing stimulating features is great but staff need to be in the moment with the resident so that they are not going through an act for their benefit but sharing the experience with them.

    If this is all working well then the residents will not be ‘suffering’ from dementia at all but living well with it – it really is time that we stopped using the ‘suffer’ word!

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