Bus Stop Mural

What destination could be more recognisable than a bus stop? But I hear some of you cry, isn’t this creating a false reality – the exact outcome Find aim to avoid?

 

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To understand why the bus stop in a care setting can be so useful and used by so many, you first must ask yourself why a person would want to get on a bus at this time. When you realise that you do not know the answer to that important question, you should also realise the benefits of sitting on that bench with someone, having a conversation with them to understand their unmet need.


Case studies have shown that it is easier to have a conversation with someone sitting at the bus stop than in a lounge surrounded by others. This is in part due to the culture of care where a member of staff will stand, kneel, or crouch in front of a person, usually in a uniform, and can be seen as a figure in authority rather than someone simply wanting a chat. At a bus stop, side by side, you become two people waiting for a bus and instinct is to chat.

For some people who like to walk, the Bus Stop Sign and Post is an ideal stopping place for a rest and can help reduce falls.

Others may be pacing and unable to communicate they are in pain, hungry or thirsty.

Others who are agitated and distressed may be looking for someone, something or somewhere. Depending on the level of dementia and their memory loss, their physical search will not be successful, i.e., looking for a parent or going home to cook tea.

However, their emotional needs can be met, often by making the person feel safe, loved and reassuring them or using the art of distraction.

Of one thing we are certain, simply telling the person to return to their chair will not reassure or address their concerns and is more likely to cause further distress, not only for them but for others around them.

As with Find’s other Bus Stop Mural furniture and accessories are required to ensure the space is fully recognisable and safe to use. A bus stop canopy and Bus Stop Sign and Post a sign are visible along corridors and of course, although Find do not supply them, there needs to be seating also.

We would also recommend a mural Be-spoke Dementia Murals on the opposite wall to the bus stop and usually suggest a picture of the town centre or somewhere local that is recognisable and a great conversational topic. The visual creates appropriate levels of stimulation. Photographs or a book about the town or area’s history can also be placed on a small table next to the bench to create interest and a person-centred activity.

In early-stage dementia, a person may be able to share personal stories of day trips out, favourite places to visit or why they used the bus in younger years. Even if a person cannot communicate verbally, they may still have fabulous memories that spending time at the bus stop may bring forward.

It is worth remembering that five minutes of positive interaction can help a person remain calm and content for several hours.

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"Many residents love sitting at a bus stop and have had some great conversations with care staff.  They are familiar places that many older people will have used, meeting friends and neighbours as they travel"