A care home is taking dementia patients on a trip back in time – with a room transformed into a vintage TRAIN CARRIAGE.
The railway room at Scarlet House features luggage racks, a table and opposite-facing seats and is designed to look just like an old-fashioned steam locomotive.
A 60-inch TV screen sits where the window should be playing footage from a real journey – meaning ‘passengers’ can watch the English countryside roll by.
Residents are even treated to afternoon tea as they ‘travel’ – served to them by carers acting out the role of train stewards.
The Cotswolds care home, near Stroud, Glos., also boasts a traditional station waiting area filled with vintage suitcases, posters, signs, tickets and leaflets.
Staff say the nostalgia rooms improve the quality of life for dementia patients, allowing elderly residents to forget their surroundings as they’re whisked away to a bygone era.
Other parts of Scarlet House, which is run by Care UK and has 86 bedrooms, are also adorned with old photographs while the lounges and dining rooms have historic names.
Jim Macleod, customer relations manager, said: “The response has been absolutely fantastic. The residents are really enjoying the feature.
“It is a real experience for their relatives as well. They can come and sit down, have afternoon tea with their loved ones and have a good chat.
“It brings back memories and has a very calming effect. If someone is quite anxious it is a great place for them to sit with the moving pictures in the background.
“We try to make sure the residents feel like it is a very special occasion – it is a treat.”
“The residents start reminiscing about the holidays they used to go on and it can take their minds off things.
“These sorts of spaces are a great addition to any care home. Anything that evokes memories of times gone by can be really important to someone living with dementia.
“They can go back in time – and we will join them in that moment.”
The rooms were created by RemPods, a local organisation which makes ‘reminiscence pods’ at different residential homes to improve life for dementia patients.
Each space is designed to look like a scene from days gone by, with other pop-up scenarios including a pub, cinema and a typical 1950s living room.
The organisation received funding from Dragons Den’s Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones after appearing on the show in 2013.
Scarlet House’s railway experience area was opened around a week ago.