Residents at a care home in Dundee no longer need to worry about missing Sunday service, after dedicated staff created their own church in the home’s garden.
Bupa’s Balcarres Care Home, in Broughty Ferry, built an innovative ‘dementia village’ in its grounds in 2015, which includes a putting green, bus stop café, post office, grocers and thrift shop.
Now, the fully kitted-out chapel – complete with pews, an altar, stained glass windows made from colourful tissue paper and an organ – has been blessed and officially opened by Reverend Fay Lamont Canon, who will also be holding some of the services.
The aptly-named Balcarres Church will open seven days a week to residents and staff and will also welcome members of the local community.
Lynn McLean, Home Manager at Bupa’s Balcarres Care Home, said: “We were first inspired to add the chapel to our dementia village as many of our residents enjoy visiting the local church where Rev. Canon holds her services.
“However, our residents that are living with dementia often forget they have been and request several trips to the church a day, which is difficult to accommodate.
“Having our very own church means that residents can now visit a chapel whenever they want, without needing to leave the grounds of the home, which can sometimes be a daunting experience for them.”
The home’s dementia village was developed over time, with each part specifically designed to help those living with dementia to connect with previous memories. Small details have been carefully thought out to add to the authenticity of the different areas; the shops have opening and closing times and fake money to allow residents to purchase items.
It has since proven to be a flourishing social hub which provides unique benefits to the residents of the home.
Lynn added: “The residents have really enjoyed being able to make use of the village and are looking forward to visiting the chapel.
“The creation of each element is so important to those living with dementia, as it allows them to reminisce and reconnect in a safe and familiar social environment.
“We are always looking for new ways to enhance the service we provide, and we look forward to seeing how the village will continue to grow in the future.”