Oak Manor Reminiscing and Wayfinding

Anyone visiting Oak Manor in Scarning, takes a trip back in time, such is the inventiveness of Activities Co-ordinator Billy McKee, turning many unused corners of the home into reminiscence areas, which not only help residents feel ‘at home’ but are useful wayfinding markers.

So far, Billy has created a post office, railway station, a library corner (complete with suit of armour) and 40/s/50s lounge inspired by his grandmother’s home. Many of the items were found locally, but some were eBay bargains. A music room is currently under construction.

The reminiscence room is based around a 1940/50’s living room area which Billy created this from memory of his grandmothers living room. To set the scene he used floral wall paper, a Persian rug and sourced 1940’s furniture and built the rest around this.

For example:

  • Dining table and chairs
  • Sideboard
  • Vintage television
  • Piano
  • Tall lamp
  • Vintage radio
  • Grandfather clock
  • Vintage newspaper rack
  • Rocking chair
  • Pictures
  • Coat & hat rack
  • Vintage telephone
  • Vintage ornaments
  • There is also a stereo with a USB stick filled 1940/50 music constantly playing.

“I find this room to be very calming for most of the residents as it feels familiar and from a marketing point of view when showing perspective resident families around the home this seems to help seal the deal. Many families use this room for birthday parties and family gatherings, to quote one family member said to me” “When I look back in years to come at these photographs it will look like my Nan was at home and not in hospital for the last part of her life.” This is what makes Oak Manor such a special home for everyone that lives and works here” says Billy.

The next area Billy worked on was an unused staircase which lead up to the training room. He thought the area would make a great library so used bookshelf wallpaper to set the scene around the staircase and added a number of thoughtful pieces:

  • Nights armour
  • Books
  • Trophy’s
  • Comfortable chairs
  • Coffee table
  • Writing bureau

Billy says “I tried to create a library feel from an aristocrat house, creating a relaxing but interactive feel. I intend to find a large portrait to put at the top of the stairs to add the finishing touch.”

The final area worked on by Bill was was the end of a corridor that had little decoration. We decided a post office would help with our residents reminiscence as a shop that was regularly used in the younger days. So to set the scene he created a work counter and sourced a retro till and parcel scale which were both secured to the counter. The finishing touches were a post office sign, retro wall telephone, cardboard life-size version of a pillar box, retro post office advertiser, an open and closed sign and an actual small wall post box which was mounted to the wall.

Billy exclaimed, “I’ve found this has been beneficial for residents who explore the home, if they ask for directions for example staff can say it’s near the post office.

I have used life-size phone boxes and post boxes around the home to help with navigation and reminiscence.”

Thank you to Billy for all of his amazing efforts at Oak Manor, well done!

Oak Manor

Home Manager

Anne Benstead


Dereham Road,
NR19 2PG

0808 223 5528
View care home

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