Flying Sam’s sensory decor brings joy to residents at care home 

Residents at Balhousie Forth View care home have been enjoying an array of brand new sensory experiences after a member of staff braved a fundraising bungee jump earlier to help enhance the lives of residents.

Deputy care home manager Samantha Beattie completed the daring 160ft bungee jump last May at Glasgow Riverside Museum, raising £1,300 to provide the care home with sensory items designed to stimulate and help improve residents’ mood and communication.

Since then, residents have felt the full benefit of Samantha’s fundraising initiatives, which have transformed areas of the care home.

Affectionately known as ‘Flying Sam’ by staff and residents, Samantha’s fundraising efforts have enabled the Methil care home to purchase several vibrant wall murals, including a fish mural which adorns the walls of the dementia lounge. Other murals include a launderette and post office mural in some of the corridors, a window looking out into a blue lagoon, a graffiti art mural and some peaceful wildlife murals including a family of deer.

Other additions include enhancements to the home’s garden. Solar lights have been introduced along with new wind chimes, butterflies, and ribbons for the sensory garden as well as new plants. Sensory cushions, mood pillows and night projectors which help residents’ sleep have been added as well.

Samantha commented:

“The murals are looking fantastic and the night projectors in particular have been very calming for a number of our residents. They also play natural sounds from the beach and birds chirping which is very relaxing. The next challenge is to raise the funds for a special sensory table. I’m not sure about another bungee jump though!”

In October 2017, ‘Flying Sam’ took part in a skydive to raise funds for a state-of-the-art virtual reality system which enables residents to virtually fly around the United States and experience virtual deep- sea diving without having to move from their chair.

Balhousie Forth View Care Home manager, Gordon Candlish, added:

“Sensory equipment, whether that is a virtual reality system or a cushion, makes a significant difference to a person living with dementia. These items can help a person revisit a memory or just provide some comfort and happiness. We can’t thank Sam enough for her brave fundraising efforts and it has been wonderful seeing the positive impact the sensory items have had on our residents.”