Patients at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy are taking a step back in time to the 1960s, thanks to a new retro diner.
The Bus Stop Café has been created on Ward 32 at Victoria Hospital and is themed like a 1960s style diner for patients and visiting family members.
The facility gives patients – many of whom have dementia or delirium – a safe space to relax and enjoy a cuppa or a snack and spend time with their loved ones.
Jacalyn Moffat, whose mum Kath spent three weeks in Ward 32 recently, praised the initiative and said it had really made a big difference.
“It was a lovely experience during a very testing time. Mum felt the surroundings were familiar and she loved the posters and that we were able to put on 1960s music.
“It was amazing for mum because she used to be a clippy on the buses. My dad was a bus driver and that’s how they met in the late 1960s.
“She has a lot of memories from then so the cafe took her back to a happy time.
“Because it put her in a comfortable environment she was happy to eat and drink, which had been a struggle at times.”
A place of comfort
The idea came from the nursing team on the ward and was then passed onto local artist Karen Masters, a Curator of Therapeutic Design, who drew up the final designs.
The name Bus Stop Cafe was chosen because disorientated patients on the ward often looked for a bus stop to help them navigate to a place of comfort.
The use of reminiscence is well known to support the care of patients with dementia, both as a means of reducing distress and to helping retain cognitive function.
The project was made possible with a Small Grant of £5,000 from the Fife Health Charity, to transform an underused day room on the ward.
Anxiety is often heightened for those with dementia or delirium and patients can often display agitation and distressed behaviour.
Stimulating activities like dominoes, painting and jigsaws are used to manage this which can now be done in the cafe to avoid the busy ward.
Another added benefit is how it will support better nutrition and fluid intake, particularly important in the care of those with dementia and delirium.
The cafe includes a fragrance machine which can be loaded with different familiar scents, such as brewing coffee, to help patients feel comfortable and to stimulate appetite.
Helen Skinner is an Alzheimer’s Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant and was involved in the development of the Bus Stop Cafe.
She feels it will help reduce isolation and create a calming environment for those in distress.
She said: “Perhaps just as importantly, the new cafe area will enable nursing staff to engage patients in more stimulating activities, which we know helps maintain better cognitive function and aids physical recovery.
“We are really grateful to the Fife Health Charity for providing the necessary support to allow this initiative to come to fruition.”