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Murals improve multi-storey aged care home navigation

A partnership formed by vision and creativity between two generations has led to improved navigation for residents at a Western Australian aged care home.

The newly painted pillars of Braemar Cooinda's first level (Source: Braemar)
The newly painted pillars of Braemar Cooinda's first level (Source: Braemar)

Residents of the multi-storey Braemar Cooinda facility joined forces with six local high school students to design and paint murals on the entrance of each floor after residents voiced confusion over navigation.

Cooinda’s Facility Manager Carol Dixon says the work done in partnership between the residents and Melville Senior High students is a visual example of a relationship-centred approach.

“When residents told us that they sometimes found it confusing to navigate the building, we asked them what they thought would improve wayfinding when exiting the lifts,” she explains.

“It was actually a resident idea to paint the pillars different colours to improve wayfinding when exiting the lifts.”

The decision was made to engage residents in the process and provide them with a social and engaging activity rather than just calling a painter.

“Our team thought why not take it a step further and involve the local school?” Ms Dickson says.

“The residents and students came together to work out a design for each level and over the course of several days, the space was transformed.

“Residents love the new designs and have made some great new friends in the process.”

The new design includes a yellow colour scheme with sunflowers on level 1, with blue and purple hues dominating the murals on level 2.

The result has been a vibrant, pleasant perspective in the lounges that make it easier for residents to quickly identify where they are.

Braemar Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wayne Belcher says the work is something the residents could take personal pride in.

“For everyone, decorating your home is an essential part of expressing your personality,” he explains.

“To enable our residents to decorate their living space at Breamar Cooinda is a wonderful reflection of the creativity that people have; regardless of their age.

It is a great example of how a practical solution can be achieved in a fun and engaging way.”

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