AMB Healthboard, Wales

Cefyn Coed Dementia Unit, Swansea

Textiles for people with alzheimer’s, woven with a helping hand

We curated artwork for a unit that provides care for people with Alzheimer’s & dementia. In the later stages, these diseases can lead to heightened sensory attraction to texture and colour. Art in Site commissioned local artist Alison Moger to produce a series of embroidered pieces for the ward.

Drawing on traditional domestic textile design, she produced over 50 pieces of embroidery, which feature illustrations of glimpsed life from the surrounding countryside.

A team of skilled local volunteers from the Embroidery Guild lent a helping hand, assisting Alison to produce the full batch of textiles.

Leafy walks

Alison also produced a series of designs for natural leaf shapes in various shapes, colours and textures, which we integrated across features of the ward, such as windows and doors.

Assisting navigation

Throughout the space, Art in Site placed Alison’s work strategically in order to assist navigation and orientation (eg. as totems on Doors). Our use of picture-based wayfinding has proved helpful to the user-group, given the loss of written language comprehension in many people with Alzheimer’s.

Impact

We originally purchased four Calm Films DVD’s; Spring Bluebells, Meadow, Dunes and Rhossili. We have been using them with some of our residents who have dementia and are not able to participate in general group activities. We found that when they are sitting near to the TV and the DVD’s are played... their moods lift. I have seen both residents smile; the resident who barely speaks will interact, reminiscence and eat when a DVD is on. The second resident will say “I was just standing on that cliff this morning and walking on the beach”, she believes she is still living by the sea.

- Head Nurse, Cefn Coed Hospital, Swansea

Impact

30% fewer drugs administered... patients sleeping better.

- Internal Evaluation (following project completion) Ysbryd y Coed, Cefn Coed Hospital, Swansea

Date 2010 - 2012
Sector Mental Health
Service Older Person's Care Unit
Commissioned by ABM Healthboard, Swansea
Artist Alison Moger
Users People with dementia