The benefits of a recent project at Salem Home in Winkler is already being noticed.

Upgrades have taken place in each of the homes five bathing rooms.

Improvements include new anti-slip flooring in two of the rooms to improve safety for both residents and staff, the installation of cabinetry for the storage of residents' personal bathing items, as well as the addition of plants, colourful towels, and pictures to create a warmer atmosphere.

Care Manager of Salem's Cottonwood Unit, Katharina Bruhn said the changes have produced a calming atmosphere, which is reducing anxiety for residents.

Colourful towels, plants, and the sound of soothing music playing helps "warm the room" and cue residents that it's bath time

In one patient, Bruhn noted they attempted a trial of removing anxiety medication usually administered prior to bathing. She said after the improvements, the individual was able to have a good experience, staying relaxed and calm throughout the entire bathing without medication.

"For our residents, environment makes a big difference," said Bruhn. "The bathing rooms were cluttered with equipment and some (residents) were almost afraid to go in...and now making the environment more friendly, and home-like with music, I have noticed a big change."

Bruhn said the staff is also loving the results of the new upgrades. "They enjoy the time more with the residents because they notice the residents are calmer, and it's also easier for them to do their job."

Bruhn said this latest project was again made possible thanks to the generous support of the community.

Some bright, colourful paintings have also been added to the bathing rooms