The way we were. A fireplace, a glass cabinet full of ornaments, a black and white tv set - recreated at Llandough Hospital

The way we were. A fireplace, a glass cabinet full of ornaments, a black and white tv set – recreated at Llandough Hospital

A special room has been created at Llandough Hospital to give dementia patients the impression they are back in the 1950s.

The room called “The Cwtch” ( a South-Walian Welsh word which can mean either a “cubby-hole” or  a “hug“)  is designed to look like the front sitting room of a typical home in the mid-’50s complete with record player, glass cabinets an open fireplace and “ornaments reflective of the era to engage with patients and their memories”.

George Drummond , with Lyn James (centre) and Susan  Beck whose husbands are patients at the unit.

George Drummond whose papered and decorated the room with Lyn James (centre) and Susan Beck both of whose husbands are patients at the unit.

The idea came from ward manager Ben Ford and ‘refocusing nurse’ Katherine Martinson,  with the support and help of the family members of patients who helped  design and decorate the new space.

It’s in the hospital’s East 18 section – part of the Mental Health Services for Older People service at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board which looks after patients with dementia and alzheimer’s who have had to be admitted to hospital .

One former patient’s husband George Drummond – whose wife Elaine has passed away – has  given up his free time to wallpaper and tile the room – even making some of the items in the sitting room and donating family bibles to give it an authentic look .

One of the comments which led Ben and Katherine to initiate the ’50s parlour was a comment from a patient in the sterile surroundings of the hospital that they would just like to be able to “sit by the fire” again . Now they can.

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  1. Anne Greagsby says:

    Family Bibles doesn’t sound authethtic. In fact they could cause offence to many.

  2. Sally says:

    What a lovely idea. I’m sure it will give comfort to many.
    I was going to ignore the above churlish comment about bibles until I realised that I’d like to congratulate those who have produced such an authentic recreation of a 1950s’ British sitting room.

  3. Mgg says:

    My grand parents had their bible well visible in the front room .and I imagine that the family bibles donated have Been in family for ages so seems pretty authentic to me .if someone has gone to trouble of sorting this room I’m pretty confident sensitivity ref bible and other items will take place.

  4. Frank Evans says:

    This looks like your average valleys front room!

  5. CelticMan says:


  6. Louise C says:

    What a lovely idea! Dementia patients can get v agitated and fearful in hospital.

  7. Parcel says:

    Ah, the good ole days, I remember when……………..

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