|Why Rainbow Uniforms?|
By Jane Verity
‘Vibrant colour activates all that is alive in us’ - Goethe
Colour dominates our senses and can noticeably affect our state of mind and feelings. It is a myth that too much colour can be over stimulating or confusing. In fact, vibrant colour improves memory, stimulates interactions, and helps people with dementia to focus.
Bright vibrant colours attract people with dementia who will come closer so they can see and touch the colour, building an instant bridge of rapport. Even people with severe dementia seem to come out of their shell and look up with an alert and joyful expression.
Experience has shown that uniforms in white, black, brown, or navy do not provide any stimulation for people with dementia. Some people may be concerned that wearing vibrant colours could be seen as unprofessional. We define professional as knowing how to meet the unique needs of the people you care for whilst maintaining a high level of integrity. For people with severe dementia to improve, we need to use different means than when caring for people with early or no signs of dementia. Introducing colour, humour, or anything unusual or with strong sensory experiences enables the person with severe dementia to reconnect with the people in their environment and stay focused and alert.
From a corporate perspective, there are many benefits of introducing vibrant Spark of Life Rainbow Uniforms. Relatives visiting a care environment where staff members wear vibrant uniforms also experience joy and feel uplifted. Families deciding on care for their loved one will remember a place where the staff wear bright uniforms and focus on the unique needs of those in their care.
Enabling staff to choose their own uniform colours means you ensure that they will feel comfortable in their selection and enjoy the experiences that vibrant colour can bring. A suggestion for anyone who is hesitant is for him or her to wear a rainbow rosette or scarf. The experience of the joyful responses of people with dementia gives them a powerful reason to trial wearing a Spark of Life Rainbow Uniform.
You can also undertake a small pilot project. Encourage a number of staff members to pilot using their preferred Spark of Life Rainbow Uniform over a set period of time. The project can be as simple as keeping a diary of any comments or non-verbal reactions. Compare these notes with an everyday care environment that does not have the stimulation of up-close bright colours.
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