Photographer’s murals designed to soothe patients in new Senior Transitions Unit at LewisGale Hospital Alleghany
LewisGale Hospital Alleghany’s new Senior Transitions Unit will feature murals by photographer Chuck Almarez designed to inspire tranquility and positive memories in the unit’s patients. The inpatient unit will treat patients 65 and older with emotional and behavioral health issues. There will be an open house for the artwork and unit 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sep. 9 and the unit is scheduled to begin treating patients in mid-September. Here’ s the full news release from LewisGale Regional Health System:
As LewisGale Regional Health System puts the finishing touches on its new Senior Transitions Unit at LewisGale Hospital Alleghany, Photographer Chuck Almarez is finalizing the murals that will canvas the walls and create a more serene environment for patients.
Almarez is creating five murals and three prints that will be displayed in the treatment area and waiting room. Two of the murals are large in scale, four feet by 15 feet, and are landscape images photographed by Almarez of Douthat Lake and Lost River Farm. Another mural captures the rich history of the community with an image of the C & O Railway Heritage Center in the foreground and the Town of Clifton Forge and Alleghany Highlands in the background. One of the canvas prints reflects Falling Spring from the top of the falls.
“These images project peace and tranquility and should be very comforting to the seniors,” said Almarez. “I also hope the murals will bring some good memories to those who view them.”
Installation of the murals will begin on September 1.
“The Senior Transitions Unit was designed to meet the unique healthcare needs of seniors, from the larger showers to the handrail that extends along the walls,” said Bruce Melosh, Program Director. “We believe this artwork will provide that extra touch to make patients feel more at ease. Our goal is to get them stabilized and back home or to their original care setting as quickly as possible.”
The Senior Transitions program, located on the 5th floor of LewisGale Hospital Alleghany, is a 15-bed inpatient specialty unit dedicated to treating seniors with emotional and behavioral health issues such as memory problems, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders. The program will primarily serve patients 65 and older who reside in LewisGale Regional Health System’s service area.
“We are excited to see the unit coming together because we know the difference it will make in this region for seniors who need this specialized care,” said Greg Madsen, CEO, LewisGale Hospital Alleghany.
Almarez was picked for the project because of the high-quality images he produces and his ability to create artwork that could fit into the design of the unit without causing a potential hazard for patients.
“I believe these images highlight the natural beauty of the area with its various landscapes,” said Almarez. “I hope it will help some of the patients reflect on some of the better times in their lives.”
Almarez owns a gallery and studio in Clifton Forge with his friend Glen Bryant, a local blacksmith.
The public will be able to see the artwork and tour the unit during the open house on September 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The unit is scheduled to start treating patients in mid-September. For more information about the program, call (540) 862-6883.