Victoria Hospital dementia recovery area painting image

The Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy has launched a new, dedicated recovery area for dementia patients, filled with scenic paintings and calming sounds.

The recovery area aims to reduce anxiety in dementia patients as waking from an anaesthetic following surgery can be a frightening and distressing experience for patients.

Karen Masters, a local artist in the Kirkcaldy area, was commissioned to create a piece of art within the recovery area that provides a welcome distraction for patients while minimising stress.

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Karen worked alongside theatre staff and specialist dementia nurses at Victoria Hospital to understand the patients’ requirements before panting a tranquil Scottish scene with trees, flowers, birds and animals.

Spanning across 48 square feet, the painting incorporated high contrast techniques to ensure that it would help patients with visual impairments too. Relaxing mood music and subtle wildlife sounds were also added, providing a total sensory experience.

The project cost around £1,100 to complete with the finance granted from Fife Health Board Endowment Fund.

Victoria Hospital dementia recovery area image

Helen Buchanan, Director of Nursing at Victoria Hospital, told Fife Today: “Undergoing surgery can be a worrying time for any of us, and for those with dementia or cognitive impairment it can be particularly distressing.

“We know that distress and anxiety can have a really detrimental effect on the overall health of people with dementia, and developments such as our new recovery area assist us to minimise the distress experienced by such patients, and indeed their families and loved ones.

“Importantly, this new development is about more than the merely the environment we provide for patients – it is about our caring approach and ensuring that treatment we offer is not only therapeutic but puts the holistic needs of the person at the core of everything we do.”

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