A GARDEN at a Kidderminster care home has been transformed into a sensory seaside paradise for elderly residents with dementia.

After residents at Brook Court in Oldnall Road kept asking to visit the seaside, care home staff decided to bring the seaside to them and gave their gloomy courtyard a makeover.

Lifestyle lead Sue Meola, who headed the project, said: "Because many of our residents are frail or have dementia, a trip to the seaside would be very difficult, but this way we've brought the seaside to them.

"We put it to the vote with residents. They had the choice between a seaside theme, a rose garden and a jungle. "I sat down with a few of the residents and asked what they would like to see in the garden and they chose the colours and helped out with the painting. It's their home so we let them choose what their garden would look like."

The sensory garden, which cost around £700 to create, features a sandy beach, traditional beach huts, grass area, an ice cream cart, 3D mosaic, rainbow pin-wheels, colourful chairs and tables and a Connect 4 game.

Of the 67 residents at Brook Court, 28 have dementia.

Customer relations manager Maria Cridge said: "People with dementia can often get confused and agitated so we created this garden as a calming and colourful place for them to relax in.

"There are lots of colours and movement to make this a really calming and soothing environment.

"A lot of them can't communicate very well but you could see their eyes light up when they came out in the garden for the first time.

"We gave them sun hats and ice creams and they were carrying the buckets around with them and touching everything."

Home manager Gill Pratt added: “The new garden looks fabulous, and will provide a wonderful space for residents, team members and guests to use how they wish, whether that’s socialising, doing a spot of gardening or simply using the new-look space to rest, relax and reflect.

“We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to all those who have picked up a paintbrush and got their hands dirty to transform the garden and enhance the lives of residents and guests. It is already proving to be hugely successful.”

The home is set to host an official open event for the new garden in coming weeks, with a live singer, barbecue, and a performance from Brook Court's resident choir.