Making our care more dementia friendly

Over the last year we have been working hard to make improvements around the hospice which will make our care more inclusive for those with dementia. This has been made possible by a grant from Hospice UK – the national charity for hospice and end of life care.

Examples of the improvements that were made include:

  • New dementia-friendly signage which can be added to rooms on the Inpatient Unit if a patient has dementia or cognitive impairments. 
  • Colour contrasting toilet seats in patient rooms and bathrooms. The distinction in colour makes the bathroom easier to navigate for people with dementia.  
  • Colour contrasting handrails in patient rooms and our Living Well Centre toilets so that patients with dementia can orientate themselves and move around more easily.
  • The addition of dementia-friendly clocks and shelves in each patient room. Clocks help with orientation and the shelves mean that patients can easily showcase photos and memorabilia in their rooms. 
  • The addition of coloured crockery to help patients with dementia eat more easily improving their nutrition.
  • Resurfacing of our garden path to make it more accessible to patients and loved ones. 

In addition to these, we held a Dementia Awareness Workshop in March led by local Admiral Nurse, Gary Burnham-Jones, which was arranged through our Community Links project. The workshop was attended by 25 members of staff and answered the question ‘What is dementia?’ as well as providing information on how to get help from Admiral Nurses and how to support those with dementia who are in pain and facing agitation. We have also engaged with several organisations who support people living with dementia and their carers through our Community Links project.

Ruth Bacon, Head of Inpatient Services at St Wilfrid’s, shared her thoughts on the project: ‘It has been great to introduce various pieces of equipment over the last year to make our Inpatient Unit more dementia friendly. Things like new shelving, which has allowed patients to bring in photographs, and the new coloured crockery and glassware has made a real difference. 

‘Feedback from patients and families has been really positive regarding the changes. We are looking forward to continuing to work on our services to ensure they best support those with dementia. Thank you to Hospice UK for supporting us with this grant.’

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