An Anchor-run care home in Bradford has opened a 1950s retro diner to help stimulate memories and conversations for people living with dementia.
Transporting residents back in time, the kitsch American diner at Mill View is kitted out with slick leather booths, a vintage jukebox and a milkshake machine.
The home also features a 1950s barber’s chair and a American-style gas pump.
The diner has been a labour of love for the care home’s staff members who worked on the project over the past 18 months after residents voted on the kind of café they most wanted to see.
The residents use the diner every day to chat and reminisce with friends, listen to Fifties music on the jukebox and enjoy homemade tea and cakes and fresh milkshakes.
The project has been self-funded through community events and fun days held at the care home, with staff scouring antique markets, car boot sales, and eBay to find the one-off period pieces to bring the diner to life – all without any professional contractor’s help.
Mill View Manager, Tee Tatum, who led the project, said: “It has been a joy for us as a team at Mill View to be able to create the diner and make the residents’ dreams a reality.
“The care home feels like a real community which is exactly what we wanted to achieve.
“Whether putting in a short shift at the corner shop, getting their hair done in the salon, watching a film at the cinema, or playing a favourite song on the jukebox, residents are able to go back in time and enjoy memories of their youth.”
The diner is the latest addition to Mill View, which already boasts an on-site cinema and corner shop.