OMNI Health Care's Frost Manor BSO team working to decrease wandering with new hallway murals

Frost Manor’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team is working towards decreasing wandering in residents with cognitive impairment with a new project to help make navigating the Lindsay long-term care home’ s hallways easier.

Residents with cognitive impairment are often challenged to find their rooms. Each of the halls at Frost Manor look similar, which can add to the confusion, says registered practical nurse Justin Hills, who recently became Frost Manor’s BSO lead, thanks to funding from the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
The painter, Wendy, stands in the hallway next to one of her murals of a birch tree

So the BSO team invested in artwork to help solve this problem. Wendy, a local painter, was hired to come in and paint murals on each of the home’s three hallways on Nov. 6 and 7.

Since the halls are named after trees – Maple, Elm and Birch – a mural corresponding to each tree was painted at the hallway entrances. Small lettering was replaced with large lettering to identify each hall as well. 

Each hallway is also colour co-ordinated with a different season. The Maple hallway has maple leaves painted with an autumn colour. The elm tree is in a summer theme, and the birch tree has snow on it representing winter. This will also help residents navigate the home, Justin says.

“We have a couple of residents who wander, and they get confused about where they are going,” he tells The OMNIway.

“So when we identify which hallway they are trying to get to, it will decrease that wandering behaviour and it will decrease the agitation for other residents, because they might otherwise wander into another resident’s room.”

Justin says there are other projects the BSO team has in the works that will soon be rolled out. He underscores the value BSO, a provincial program aimed at improving quality of life for seniors with cognitive impairment, is bringing to people living in Ontario long-term care homes.

“If you come up with an intervention that positively affects residents’ lives, not only does it improve their quality of life, but it also makes things easier for them and they get more enjoyment out of life,” he says.

Thanks to the funding, Frost Manor has also hired a personal support worker with expertise in the BSO initiative. This role has been filled by Logan Burrows, who came from Riverview Manor, in Peterborough.

BSO is a provincial initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation. The funding, which is provided to long-term care homes through Ontario’s 14 LHINs, is largely put towards staff education.

In photo: Wendy (painter) poses next next to the birch tree she designed for the "Birch" hallway at Frost Manor.

This story was published by Axiom News, originally on OMNI Health Care's website. Reposted with permission