'Delight' as Fontwell care worker draws on care experience to inspire therapeutic art

Rose Prince, a care home worker in Fontwell, drew on her experiences in the dementia community to produce art specially adapted to the symptoms of the condition.

Miss Prince, who has worked at Westergate House Care Home for the last two years, created a lamb designed to soothe the symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia for her foundation diploma in art and design at the University of Arts London.

The project, called ‘a HUG by LAUGH lamb’, is a weighted aid which provides sensory stimulation for patients when held. Miss Prince also developed a playlist of popular tunes from the fifties onwards to evoke fond memories of the past, a fragrant scent of lavender to provide a sense of relaxed calm, and a heat pad to enhance the sensation of a hug. Each part of the project is designed around the unique needs of the dementia patients Miss Prince worked with during her time as a care assistant.

The student, who will accept an undergraduate place at the University of Arts London this September, also produced a blanket with tactile objects attached to stimulate memories and senses, as well as a piped cushion decorated with characterful images inspired by her work in the dementia community.

care home resident Phylis

Phyllis, a resident at Westergate House, said "I am so pleased to see Rose's work. We all wondered how the finished pieces would look. I am delighted to feature on her lovely cushion."

General manager Paul Middleton-Russell added: "We are in awe of Rose's fabulous work, and thrilled that she has been able to use her positive experience of working in care at Westergate House to produce such beautiful, and useful, artwork. We wish her well with her future studies."

Staff at Westergate House, a grade II listed building, provide high quality nursing and residential care for older people, including those living with dementia.

The care home uses skills and techniques developed by leading experts in dementia care to make the home as safe, comfortable and people-led as possible. According to the website, care is focused on ‘independence, dignity and choice’, with staffing levels intended to reflect the needs of residents.

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