Introducing the new village square at Berelands House Care Home
The team at Berelands House Care Home in Prestwick have recently transformed part of their gardens into a sensory village square for their residents.
Designed to support those who can no longer take trips to the shops or spend a lot of time away from the care home, the new village square gives people the opportunity to go shopping, meet their fellow residents and spend time outdoors in each other’s company.
We spoke to Teresa Mangonon, Home Manager at Berelands House Care Home, to find out more about the project and the benefits it has had for the residents.
Building the village square at Berelands House Care Home
As the project was being constructed and the garden was being re-modelled, the sight and sound of something being built attracted the attention of guests, families, staff, and residents. Residents started to spend more time in the courtyard. While enjoying the sun and flowers that had just started to bloom, they chatted with the workers and gave their recommendations for the garden village.
The suggestions provided by the residents informed the look and feel of the village square. The colours are bold and bright, there is a clock on the town hall as well as a bird bath that attracts wildlife. There’s also plenty of space for wheelchair access, lots of benches and the shops contain things to sell.
Berelands Village officially opened on the 13th July, just two months after the project was launched.
All our residents and visitors truly appreciate the benefits and beauty of the village square. For the team at Berelands House Care Home, we were also thrilled at how the construction stage intrigued residents. Their curiosity led to many people excitedly heading outside to check on the project, meaning that they were getting more daily exercise outdoors.
What shops are in the Berelands House Care Home village square?
Berelands House Care Home now boasts a garden village complete with a town hall, post office, café, barbers, florist, greengrocer, travel agent and newsagents.
Around the square, the colourful and vibrant store fronts help to bring the village to life. The café, florist, greengrocer, and newsagents are also functioning shops. Visitors and families can make their own tea and coffee, buy flowers and even do some food and grocery shopping.
The pathway leading to the shops is safe for residents who walk about, meaning that they can visit the shops in the day. Garden umbrellas and chairs are also dotted around the square, and the scents from the garden’s flowers and the herbs complete the experience. The garden also caters to outdoor group activities for the residents and can become an outdoor concert venue for guest performers.
Everyone at Berelands House Care Home reaps the benefits of the village square every day. To see the residents happy and more engaging when they are in the garden makes everything worth it.
How does the village square benefit Berelands House residents?
Donna Hanlon, Dementia Coach for Priory Adult Care said: “Berelands House are setting a good example of what great dementia care can look like.
“The outdoor space will help to provide residents with a sense of familiarity in a place that is safe and supported. I feel that it is a positive step forward in creating an enhanced dementia-friendly environment and will help to support people living with dementia in many ways.
“Firstly, the shops are real, rather than murals. Murals without context can be confusing for people with dementia, but the village square is home to shops that the residents and their families can pop into. The décor is also dementia-friendly, as bold, simple patterns have been used and plenty of signage ensures it is an environment that everyone can use freely.
“The flowers and different herbs that scent the village also provide a form of sensory stimulation for those who wish to enjoy the day outside. And the use of items such as vintage bikes and flower pots help to provide a form of reminiscence. These sensory and reminiscence features provide residents living with dementia with a sense of self, wellbeing and also a link to their past.”