A group of Architecture students worked on plans for a garden dedicated to persons with dementia at a Church elderly home. The garden will be the first of its kind in which persons with dementia feel safe and in a relaxing environment.
The project is intended for one of five homes run by the Church – Casa Leone at St Julian’s, which currently has 99 residents. Manager Doris Aquilina said that in recent months the home prepared a plan for the dementia residents’ section.
“I can say that this project will cost over three quarters of a million euro, that is a substantial sum”.
Architect Alexia Mercieca said that the students’ project, who are in their first year of a Masters in Architecture, aims at the elderly persons who can enjoy open spaces.
“These Church elderly homes are ideal for such project because they have gardens, which are ideal to everyone especially dementia people who can enjoy the fresh air, come in contact with nature and trees which are important for their daily life.
Ideally funds are found for the project, which will be a first of its kind”.
The dean of the Faculty of Built-up Environment, Prof. Alex Torpiano, said that it is important that architecture students come face to face with realities, such as dementia, to create projects that assist the elderly.
Auxiliary Bishop Joe Galea Curmi stated that persons suffering from dementia deserve all the love and respect as other people do. He praised the way architecture students placed the elderly dementia residents at the centre of their research. Bishop Galea Curmi augured that this will be a principle that guides us in the treatment of elderly persons in Maltese society.