Every year around this time, baby chicks visit a nursing home in Finsbury Park to spread a little Easter joy. The fluffy bundles are cute to cuddle and lovely to look at, but they also have an important job to do – giving older people with dementia a tangible sense of the time of year.
Stacey Street Nursing Home is a specialist NHS mental health unit for older people with dementia and other mental health issues. “It’s a wonderful place, with a lovely atmosphere, and a fantastic activity coordinator,” says KiB’s Nicola Gossip, who visits regularly to sing classic songs that spark reminiscence.
Celebrating Easter, Christmas and other holidays can help provide an anchor in a bewildering world for people living with dementia. “It helps give them a sense of what’s going on outside in the world,” says Nicola Gossip. “And celebrating these special days prompts people to recall memories of holidays past. Talking about these memories creates lovely conversations too.” There are plans to close Stacey Street Nursing Home soon. Residents will be transferred to a nearby private home.