What is this space?
Rachael: This space was (and is still) a Nurses’ Station. The Nurses’ Station is obviously incredibly important—and completely built into the space—so it wasn’t going anywhere. I decided to turn it into something familiar: a soda fountain counter. It already looked a little bit like a soda fountain counter, so I recreated this iconic 1950s imagery and made the whole space into a “5 & Dime” store. Nearby is an old record player, comfy red chairs, and even ice cream they keep behind the counter for snack time.
What materials did you use?
Rachael: I used various materials I found online to bring this look together. The main piece here is the old-fashioned looking milkshake maker. I actually found that on Amazon.
Why does this space work well in dementia care?
Rachael: I actually had a residents’ daughter tell me that, when her father lived there, he believed that the counter was an ice cream shop counter. So, this worked out perfectly. I’m embracing the residents’ realities. I am living in their world and bringing something familiar and calming back to life.
Amanda: This is such a creative way to take a traditionally institutional area of a community and make it interactive! A great conversation starter, most residents will love to talk about their favorite milkshake or diner food.