Nostalgic 1950's Style Diner Opens at St John's Court

Leading up to World Alzheimer's Day, St John’s Court Nursing Home is proud to announce the inauguration of its latest addition, a 1950s-themed diner, aptly named "Johnny Saint’s."

Transporting residents back in time, the kitsch American diner which took over the home’s communal lounge was built by the Activities Team and the Home’s residents.

Crafted by the skilled Activities Team and the home's residents, the nostalgic American diner has been a labour of love for the nursing home's staff members who worked on the project after residents voted on the kind of café they most wanted to see. Residents actively contributed to its creation, with the walls adorned by artworks meticulously crafted by residents over the past several weeks. The innovative set form part of Amica Care's specialist dementia care and reminiscence therapy which harness the power of nostalgia to stir memories and encourage meaningful conversations among dementia residents.

Ben Line, Activities Lead and the driving force behind the project, shared his enthusiasm: "Creating the diner and turning our residents' dreams into reality has been an absolute joy for us at St John’s Court. Since its opening, not a day has passed when the diner was empty! Our nursing home feels like a true community, precisely what we set out to achieve."

The diner's grand opening celebration featured a delightful ensemble of musicians and singers who entertained residents, friends, and families. The highlight of the evening was an electrifying Elvis Presley impersonator, who serenaded everyone with a medley of his greatest hits while the kitchen served up a fitting meal of retro hamburgers and milkshakes.

St John’s Court residents Jean said: “I think it was very good. I loved Naomi the singer. Elvis was very good at getting people to participate. I thought the whole lot was very good. It took a lot of putting together to make a good atmosphere. The team worked really hard to make it good for us”.

Johnny Saint’s will remain open daily for residents to visit and will also serve as a venue for one-on-one reminiscence sessions. Here, residents can engage with carers, sharing cherished memories of the 1950s. The diner's familiar and comforting ambiance will help put residents with dementia at ease, facilitating conversations about their happy memories.

On this World Alzheimer's Day, St John’s Court Nursing Home reaffirms its commitment to providing comprehensive dementia care and support. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are currently 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040. The scale and the need to prevent, diagnose, support, live and die well with dementia will only become greater.

Reminiscence therapy is just one facet of the person-centred care approach that Amica Care employs. It has proven immensely popular with residents, providing carers with a valuable tool to initiate meaningful conversations with older individuals living with dementia.