Barnyard mural prompts reminiscing

A mural depicting a barnyard scene is already proving popular with residents of 70 Lowe Street aged care facility, particularly those with a farming background.

The mural was commissioned by East Grampians Health Service and Ararat artist Janette Lucas spent many hours completing it.

It is located on an internal garden wall at 70 Lowe Street and features farm animals, buildings and people, complementing the life-like statues of farm animals in the adjacent garden.

The mural is part of East Grampians Health Service’s move to the Montessori Model of Care at 70 Lowe Street, as part of the ‘Improved Living in Aged Care’ residential service delivery framework, which was developed to meet the needs of the ageing population.

A core component of ‘Improved Living in Aged Care’ was the development and implementation of the Montessori Model of Care environment, which was modified from the Montessori Dementia Model of Care.

It aims to fulfil the vision of independence and improve self-esteem for residents through environmental cueing such as renaming and decorating bedroom wings in the facility in themed avenues, large bright signage for toilets, bathrooms and bedrooms, brightly coloured items such as blue toilet seats, yellow bathroom doors and red crockery, and trinkets, pictures and furniture from the residents’ era.

It also involves implementing meaningful activities and roles that focus on the individuals’ skills, abilities, needs and interests, such as daily collection of eggs, arranging flowers for the dining room tables, a help-yourself buffet breakfast, jigsaws, cooking and colouring in.

“We have achieved many changes over the past 18 months using the principles of Montessori to support the residents residing here,” manager of 70 Lowe Street Tanya Haslett said at the launch of the mural.

“The barnyard mural was carefully planned to give the outdoor garden area a home like country feel and encourage the residents to go outside at their own leisure.

“The mural was created by Janette to initiate the declarative memory in which many residents have stories to tell of their past experiences of farm life.

“We would like to thank Janette for her valuable contribution to 70 Lowe Street’s barnyard mural. It will bring joy to many of our residents in years to come.”

Montessori will also be rolled out to the health service’s other aged care facilities, Garden View Court and Willaura Healthcare, in the future.

Pictured above: Ararat artist Janette Lucas (left) and 70 Lowe Street manager Tanya Haslett at the launch of the barnyard mural