Memories of the Blackpool Illuminations are set to light up the lives of dementia patients in the resort.
Bosses at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have joined forces with Blackpool Council to add a new dimension to the hospital’s dementia corridor.
The council’s light works department, which is responsible for the Illuminations, has provided three illuminations installations for the corridor.
The new £30,000 Memory Lane corridor will be the largest of its kind in the UK – spanning 72 metres in length – when it is finished in early May. It will feature images of popular landmarks and scenes around Blackpool, as well as sounds and even smells of the resort.
Practice development sister Sam Woodhouse, who is leading on the dementia corridor, said: “We are thrilled to be able to add illuminations to the corridor.
“They are so iconic and will really benefit patients as they will help them to immerse themselves into an environment they are familiar with. It will help trigger happy memories which, for patients with dementia or confusion, are a really important part of their care.”
The illuminations will feature in two of the main sections of the corridor. The Pleasure Beach section will have one illuminated smiling face which was once shining outside the attraction.
The promenade section will have a seashell and a scaled down version of the famous illuminated “boat” tram.
Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said: “We’re delighted to be able to help the people with dementia by bringing a little slice of the famous Blackpool Illuminations to the corridor.
“Dementia is a hugely important issue in Blackpool and on the Fylde coast generally, because of the age of our population, so we’re very pleased to do what we can to help those affected and raise awareness.”
As well as covering the walls in the design, each section of the corridor will have “engagement sections” with something for the patients to physically interact with, including donated artefacts and pictures, a work station with activities to complete, sounds and smells, as well as benches and seating to relax and enjoy the views.
Work is well under way to develop the corridor, which will be officially opened next month, including pictures and memorabilia donated by Notarianni’s ice cream parlour.