Your donation enables unique dementia care at Mount Hope

two elderly women in front of grocery store at the interactive village
Joyce May picks grapes with friend Gloria Coffey while enjoying the interactive village at Mount Hope.

“What kind of pie should we bake?” It’s a question that might seem out of place to some health care providers. But not to Therapeutic Recreation Assistant Lisa Roselli.

In the Memory Care Unit at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, Lisa helps 36 residents living with dementia remain active and engaged in a safe environment.

When residents feel restless, says Lisa, they might wander, or become agitated and confused when they can’t leave the unit for their own safety. 

As a way to calm residents, the care team took inspiration from Hogeweyk in the Netherlands, a secure community setting where people living with dementia can revisit familiar things from their past.

The Memory Care Unit opens to a farmland mural that transitions into the city, complete with street signs and lamps. From there, Mount Hope residents can visit the post office or watch a movie at the cinema. 

What’s so special about this interactive village is how the simulated activities have real-life impact. 

Lisa recalls a day when a resident was crying and feeling confused. The two women walked to the grocery store display and Lisa asked, “What kind of pie should we bake?” Together they picked out some apples.

“Soon she was happy and smiling, and we were reminiscing about a time when she was baking with her grandma in her kitchen,” says Lisa. 

Creating the look of a neighbourhood on the unit took paint and props to bring it to life. But it wouldn’t have been possible without donor support, which enabled the team to create this unique and compassionate care setting. 

“Donors have helped bring that spark of life to residents in our home-area,” says Lisa. “Without their support, this interactive village would not have been possible.”
 

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