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 Care home’s “train room” offers scenic escape for residents

Care home’s “train room” offers scenic escape for residents

By 24th November, 2023 Press Releases No Comments

A CAPTIVATING visual journey through the serene English countryside is proving a scenic escape for Rotherham’s elderly now they can embark on a train ride from the comfort of their care home.

Residents at Broadacres Care Home, on Naylor Street, Parkgate, can whisk themselves away on a railway ride anytime they choose thanks to their new, novel therapeutic space.

A “train room” has been built in the care home’s specialist dementia care suite, which has been dubbed “Parkview Station”, including a life sized train window with moving visuals of the picturesque countryside rolling by.

The new facility was officially opened by Mayor Cllr Robert Taylor, who also enjoyed afternoon tea and mince pies with residents in the care home’s Clifton Café.

He said: “I now declare Parkview Station open.

“It’s a real privilege to open the train installation at Broadacres. Train travel is nostalgic and appeals to us all. I’m sure it will bring back poignant memories and comfort for residents.”

Staff have designed and set up a traditional train carriage, with a table and chairs, vintage cardboard suitcases, as well as a driver’s cap and images of old steam trains on the walls.

The train window is loaded with videos of train journeys to give residents the experience of riding on the railway, transforming the room into a therapeutic and reminiscence space.

Resident Derek Gillions, 91, was watching a journey when Mayor Cllr Taylor came to declare the station open. He said: “I like watching the view, seeing the fields and flowers on the embankment, and looking for the railway men who wave as the train passes. It’s really nice.”

Spaces and activities that bring back memories have strong, therapeutic benefits for those living with dementia, according to home manager Lyndsey Brewer.

She explained: “The idea behind the train room is to provide a comfortable, calming environment for residents, but also to elicit fond memories for those living with dementia.

“The sounds and sights of a train journey can immediately bring back memories of going on holiday, travelling to see family and friends, and even commuting to work, which is fantastically beneficial for those who may be struggling with memory loss.

“Sitting in a comfortable chair and simply watching the world go by in a train window can help boost a resident’s mood, reduce feelings of stress and loneliness, ease anxiety and improve overall wellbeing.”

Funds to build the train room came from former resident Brenda Hands, who left a donation to Broadacres Care Home in her Will.

Brenda met with staff before her passing to discuss how to use the funds to benefit residents living on the dementia suite. As well as the train room, her donation was spent on a projector that recreates the seaside in the care home’s lounge, and a vintage cinema installation.

Lyndsey added: “Brenda was such a lovely lady, always thinking of how she can help others. Her generous donation has made such a difference to the lives of our residents already.

“It’s absolutely marvellous to see how much the residents enjoy going for train rides from our Parkview Station. While the installation is designed around people living with dementia, the ladies and gents from the residential suite like to visit and go for a train ride as well.

“Having the train experience has become a talking point for everyone. Family members really appreciate the way their loved ones get involved with the view. Everyone waves at the railway men working beside the track. It’s great.

“We can’t thank the mayor and mayoress enough for officially opening Parkview Station. They were both so wonderful with our residents. We’re all looking forward to recreating a vintage cinema experience now.”

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