By William Lailey and Cally Brooks
Have you ever wanted to take a walk back through the decades? Well, a care home is offering their residents just that as they have invested in a 1950s-style street aimed at taking dementia sufferers back to the ‘good old days’.
The Five Rise nursing home in Bingley, West Yorkshire, has become home to 65 residents since opening in 2018 and aims at reducing anxiety in dementia sufferers by provoking memories and offering ‘home comforts’ that helps to calm the residents.
Whilst this may look like an ordinary care home on the outside, the building boasts an impressive fully-functioning 1950s style street featuring ‘Coronation Street’ style shops. The residents can take a trip down to the barbers to freshen up, pop into the old-style sweet shop to bring back the memories of some of their favourite sweet treats or even watch a film in the cinema that is on-site.
Owners Damien and Danny Holt, along with their father Brendan Holt, first came up with the idea when they were helping out with their father’s care home in the 1980s.
Damien said, “This is a family run business with myself, my brother and our father who originally had a care home in Leeds in the 1980s and that’s where the idea stemmed from.
“We were passionate about creating something different and something that would make us stand out.
“We wanted to create something that would reduce anxiety and calm the residents with dementia as it’s difficult enough for them without being thrown into a completely different environment. It helps to ease them in and makes them feel at home.
“They all love it.”
Not only does the street feature 1950s-style shops, but there are also vintage cars on display.
“We really move with the times- it doesn’t just stay the same. We have coronation parties, during summer we put on a big summer market that half of Bingley turn up to, we have farmers who bring horses and donkeys and it really makes the residents happy”.
The project took up to three years to complete and cost the Holt family £10 million.
“If we can give our residents a great memory for 10 seconds a day then that makes us really happy”.
Twins Damien Holt and Danny Holt own another care home and are planning on building another with the same 1950s theme in mind.
The idea first stemmed from their father, Brendan Holt, who owned a care home in Leeds that was for residents suffering with dementia.
Having an understanding of dementia from a young age, the twins wanted to carry on the family business and expand by incorporating the modern day with the tradition that these residents were so used to.
Once the planning permission was accepted, it was all hands on deck as they transformed the care home into a 1950-lovers dream. The street was the main attraction but the care home also incorporates bright colours and big windows to encourage mental stimulation amongst the residents.
Since opening in 2018, the care home has amassed 65 residents who visit the street regularly with their families.