New Murals Installed on 4 West Medical Unit

December 2021 Circle of Life Insider Update

Recently, a special project was made possible at Guelph General Hospital. While not patient equipment, it is definitely improving the care of elderly patients on our 4 West Medical Unit.

Admissions for patients with a diagnosis of a neurocognitive impairment, such as dementia, continue to increase. Sometimes these patients may wander, look for exits and get agitated. When they are stopped from doing something, like leaving the unit or entering an elevator, they may get quite upset.

Recently, two incredibly realistic murals were installed on 4 West. One covers the main door to the unit, and the other covers the elevators. The murals disguise the door and elevators and make them less noticeable to those patients with dementia. Early feedback is so positive – patients will often times walk right by the door or even stop to admire something in the mural such as a bookshelf. Research from other health care facilities using murals has shown a decrease in violent behavior, a reduction in exit seeking and as a result, staff harm has also decreased.

The murals were funded thanks to our generous donors.

The cat in the mural allows staff to ask wandering patients to “not let out the cat” thereby keeping the exit door closed. Photographed to the right is Elder Life Specialist Rebekah Larter who helped make this project possible.

The pictures above show the unit’s elevator doors that depict a beautiful familiar view of Riverside Park. With the elevator doors closed, they blend in with the rest of the mural.

The Foundation is grateful to our donors who made this special project possible.