Artist Creates Dementia-Inspired Murals at Sunderland Royal Hospital

Artist Neil Gibbins creates moving dementia-inspired murals for Sunderland Royal Hospital, honoring his mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis and raising funds for Alzheimer's research. The murals have transformed the hospital environment, providing comfort and engagement for patients.

Ayesha Mumtaz
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Artist Creates Dementia-Inspired Murals at Sunderland Royal Hospital

Artist Creates Dementia-Inspired Murals at Sunderland Royal Hospital

Neil Gibbins, a 39-year-old artist inspired by dementia from Wearside, has gifted two moving murals to Sunderland Royal Hospital, which specializes in caring for elderly patients, including those with dementia. The murals were inspired by Gibbins' mother's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia.

The first mural, located in the gastroenterology ward, features a blossom tree painting and has been named the Blossom Suite. It serves as a quiet space for relatives. The second mural, situated on ward E56, which cares for older people including those living with dementia, depicts a panorama of landmarks from across northeast England, such as Penshaw Monument, Roker Lighthouse, and the Angel of the North.

Gibbins found the work to be difficult and emotional, especially given his personal experience with dementia. "It was quite a difficult thing to do, and quite emotional as well, because my mum has Alzheimer's," he said. "It was quite hard to do, but I'm really pleased with how it's turned out."

The murals have been well-received by hospital staff and patients, helping to create a more relaxing and dementia-friendly environment. Ward manager Danielle Scullion praised the artwork, saying, "The murals are remarkable and we are so proud and privileged to be able to promote Neil's artwork. They have sparked many conversations and attracted patients to the area."

Why this matters: The dementia-inspired murals at Sunderland Royal Hospital demonstrate the power of art in creating a more comforting and engaging environment for patients, particularly those living with dementia. The project also highlights the personal impact of dementia on families and the importance of raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer's research.

Gibbins has used his artwork to raise £1,000 for Alzheimer's Research, and the hospital's ward manager shared that one of their relatives donated money to Gibbins' fundraising page after their family member's death, noting that the dad would have loved the artwork's hidden significance and messages. The murals not only brighten the hospital wards but also serve as a lasting legacy to the artist's dedication to supporting dementia research and creating a more dementia-friendly environment for patients and their families.

Key Takeaways

  • Artist Neil Gibbins created murals for Sunderland Royal Hospital inspired by his mother's dementia.
  • The murals depict local landmarks and a blossom tree, creating a calming environment for patients.
  • The murals have been well-received, sparking conversations and attracting patients to the areas.
  • Gibbins has raised £1,000 for Alzheimer's research through his artwork and fundraising efforts.
  • The murals serve as a legacy to Gibbins' dedication to supporting dementia research and care.