AN environmental audit of Bentley Hospital conducted in September prompted a community effort to improve the outdoor areas for dementia patients last week.
Bunnings staff and Men’s Shed members combined their skills to make a shaded garden bed at a height suitable for people in wheelchairs, with wide paths, sensory elements and plants they can care for.
The audit was conducted by Royal Perth’s Elaine Newman in conjunction with Dementia Training Australia.
It identified ways Bentley Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital could improve their indoor environments for patients to promote wellbeing.
The audit also considered Bentley’s outdoors areas.
“If people are not recovering well then they stay longer,” Ms Newman said.
The shaded garden area can be used by older adult mental health patients from Bentley’s 10B, by patients of Ward 4 in aged care rehabilitation, and those recovering from stroke in Ward 5.
“We have tomatoes, basil, rosemary to provide plants they can care for an add meaning to their stay,” she said.
Signs are made appropriate for people with cognitive impairment by the medical illustrations team, spare paint was used to colour zone rooms inside the wards, and furniture was updated.
Pictures were added to the walls and wheelchair-accessible outdoor tables were placed in the shaded garden while those with built-in seating were moved to other parts of the campus.
“It’s actually been a real collaboration,” Ms Newman said.