Bonnybridge home pilots new signs scheme

Balhousie's hospitality services chief, David Blackwood, consults residents on new menus.
Balhousie's hospitality services chief, David Blackwood, consults residents on new menus.

Balhousie Care Group is using its Wheatlands care home in Bonnybridge as the pilot for a company-wide plan to launch more dementia-friendly signage.

The firm is also relaunching its care home menus, with many dishes aimed at people with dementia.

The moves are among initiatives launched to coincide with this year’s Dementia Awareness Week, which starts on Monday.

The decision to revamp signs in the homes came about after residents said current signage – which varied across all of Balhousie Care’s 25 homes – isn’t effective.

Dementia Nurse Consultant Yvonne Manson discovered said: “They were placed too high on a door or were not always clear. Our residents needed clear visuals and clear wording so as not to confuse them.”

Workshops were held with residents at the Bonnybridge, home, where residents said they wanted pictures of actual rooms in the home – not generic pictures – and a streamlining of the words used.

Yvonne said: “So for example a sign for a lounge at our Wheatlands care home now carries a picture of a chair from that lounge – a picture that is personal to that care home.

“The placing of the signs is lower, at residents’ request, and we chose a bright yellow so that the signs really pop.”

She added: “The sign project has worked very well at Wheatlands, and already been praised by the Care Inspectorate.

“We’re now rolling out the signs to all of our care homes and it’s our plan that they’ll be in all 25 homes by the end of the year.