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”.
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.