In a Swedish nursing home in Stockholm, residents wait for a bus that never arrives, as noted by Malay Mail.
The staff created a fake bus stop four years ago to ease the anxiety of patients who wanted ‘to go home.’ There’s a bench and a sign with a bus schedule, but it’s not real.
“It is very common that they have this worry and want to go home” Caroline Wahlberg who runs the Tallhojden nursing home told AFP.
Despite the fake reality that a bus will come and pick up the residents, the whole concept does seem to be working.
Wahlberg explained how she would sit on the bench with residents, waiting. During this time, the residents struggling with dementia would feel nostalgic and recall details about their lives. They would just talk – and after a while, the residents would feel calmer and happier. ‘And then we could go eat or watch TV inside,’ she concluded.
In another nursing home, the bus stop has a therapeutic effect on the residents, as stated by Louise Bass, a nurse who has been working at the home for over 10 years.
Overall, the conversation that take place on those benches appear to help the resident with their symptoms.
However, one might question if this idea is morally the right thing to do. Research from Israel Journal of Health Policy Research examined the question in 2019, and concluded that the bus stops could potentially increase residents’ sense of frustration or make them feel deceived.