A range of furniture from French designer Géraldine Biard is meant to provide comfort and relaxation for people living with dementia. The line, called Jardin d’Hiver, includes a credenza, a console table, and two bedside tables. Each is meant to stimulate the senses of touch, sight, and smell.
On each tabletop is a tiny simulated mountain range rising out of the Corian material. The topography provides a gentle surface to run one’s hand over, an action that stimulates the sense of touch. This stimulation is an important part of Alzheimer’s and dementia care as it keeps the brain working.
The tabletop “mountains” also act as a aromatherapy center. They dispense soothing aromas which engage the sense of smell and can provide comfort when a dementia patient is feeling agitated or restless.
Finally, the tables all provide gentle light therapy as well. An internal light shines softly through the translucent Corian, illuminating a relaxing mountain scene. The designer sees the pieces as moving with the patient from home to a care home if that should become necessary. The consistency of being surrounded with familiar furniture can help decrease a dementia patient’s agitation levels and make them feel more comfortable overall.
Here’s a description of the collection from the designer:
“Jardin d’Hiver is a collection of furniture for relaxation composed of two beside cabinets, a console and a credenza. Every piece is integrating aromatherapy and light therapy to alleviate sleep disturbances and anxiety, and engages the user’s sight, smell and tactile senses. The translucent and strength qualities of Corian® have been used to design the top section of the pieces. The design evokes an open window into a snow covered landscape, where the aromatherapy emanates from a sculpted mountain, and the light therapy diffuses behind a graphic scenery that invites the individual to envisage a faraway relaxing landscape.”