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New Artwork Unveiled at PRI to Support Patients with Dementia

New wall art has been unveiled at the General Outpatients Department of Perth Royal Infirmary, which aims to make the waiting area a more dementia-friendly environment by introducing a focal point which can provide a topic for conversation which can help patients remain calm in an unfamiliar setting.

The paintings which were created by local artist Gail Robertson feature scenes from the area including Huntingtower Castle, Scone Palace, Perth Museum and Kinnoull Tower.

Mrs Robertson shared her delighted to be part of the project saying: “Both my children had quite serious and ongoing medical problems when they were younger, so as a family we spent many hours and days staring at the walls of various departments, wards and waiting rooms. I agreed to paint the Perthshire mural because it will hopefully provide patients and their families with a talking point which brightens up their time in the waiting room.” 

Work has also been undertaken to make the space more dementia-friendly, with improved signage and the installation of specialist clocks which help people recognise the time, day and date.

Staff Nurse Aileen Balbirnie, who took part in the programme on behalf of the outpatients team, said, “Memory problems, difficulties with communication, confusion and disorientation in unfamiliar environments can lead to stress and distress for people with dementia. 

“The new mural provides a topic for conversation and the local landmarks may also encourage people to reminiscence, both of which can help to reduce stress and distress for people with dementia, their families, and carers.”

While General Outpatients Department Senior Charge Nurse, Leah Hicks added, “Hundreds of people visit the General Outpatient Department each week and this mural has helped improve the waiting area environment for people with dementia and other similar medical conditions. We are very grateful to Gail for taking the time to support this project and create this wonderful painting.”

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