Dementia Friendly Wards Appeal
The Golden Leaves Appeal is already raising funds to make a real difference to patients who have to stay in our hospitals and by tailoring our fundraising efforts to improve whole wards we feel we can make a long and lasting legacy for our many patients coping with dementia.
Dementia is now the UK’s leading cause of death and at any one time, 25 per cent of hospital beds are occupied by patients who have been diagnosed with the condition.
Hospital can be an unfamiliar place for most patients who are admitted but the hospital environment presents many challenges to the person with Dementia. The person with Dementia is more likely to find the hospital environment frightening and confusing which increases their agitation and induces stress related behaviours.
We can improve patient experience by providing specialist and adapted environments on our wards. Familiar signage, clocks which light up at night to tell patients whether it is day or night, even dementia-friendly crockery to make meal times enjoyable and less anxious.
We can also create activity trollies to help provide meaningful engagement and reduce anxiety for patients with dementia. Items such as twiddlemuffs (a popular hand-knitted visual and sensory stimulation for patients), therapy dolls, basic sign cards which, for example, allow patients to express whether they are happy or sad, in pain or hungry, as well as activities such as large pieced jigsaws.
Encouraging patients to recall and share memories can help medical staff better connect with those with dementia, which enables more personalised care. It can also ease anxiety and boost self-esteem, resulting in the patient feeling more fulfilled.