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​​National Volunteer Week

Semaine nationale de l'action bénévole

Students make Au Château more homelike for dementia sufferers

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CAHIERS SPÉCIAUX

by Isabel Mosseler
Tribune


A group of seven art students from Ecole secondaire publique Nipissing Ouest, under the direction of teacher Jeanne Therrien, have started an art project in hopes of improving the lives of Au Château residents suffering from dementia. The project entails painting murals on the walls and exit door of the 3rd floor facility to resemble a home environment, to ease the impulse of certain residents to exit the area. The project was initiated by Au Chateau, and inspired by the Montessori Alzheimer’s Project, that looks at measures to create the proper environment for people suffering from the disease.

Au Chateau Director of Care Cindy Brouillette explains, “We wanted to make it more homey for the residents.” She is also planning to put in a nursery with baby dolls, a therapy that has proven effective for dementia. According to Brouillette, the mural project will “calm behaviours, give them purposeful activities for the day.”

“We’ve wanted to do that mural for a long time but we couldn’t find anyone willing to do it, and of course cost is always an issue. I wanted to make sure we got a partnership going with someone when we did it,” Brouillette adds. That’s where Au Château staff person  Hélène Larabie came in. “She was integral in getting us connected – she talked to her son Serge [principal at E.s.p. Nipissing Ouest] and things rolled out from there.”

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L-R: Chloe Larabie, Zoë Danis, McKenzie Blais, Shayna-Lynne Patry and Renée Lambert, under the direction of É.s.p. Nipissing Ouest art teacher Jeanne Therrien, are working on a mural on the 3rd floor of the Au Château, to help residents suffering from dementia. The mural is intended to not only beautify and create a homey atmosphere, but also to help patients feel a sense of calm and well-being.

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