This page is a printable version of: https://www.iow.nhs.uk/about-us/dementia.htm
Date: 02 October 2022
What is dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe symptoms which include gradual memory loss, difficulties in communication and a reduction in logical thinking; people with dementia may have changes in behaviour, reversed sleeping patterns, and altered appetite.
Dementia is not age specific, but our risk increases as we age, in those under 65 it is often called early-onset dementia. The greatest barrier to research, support, treatments and possible cures for dementia is the perceived stigma; however early diagnosis means better support and treatments. If you feel yourself or a loved one may be showing any signs of dementia, please discuss it and seek medical advice. We all forget things so it won’t always mean you have dementia, but talking to someone may give you that peace of mind.
What are we doing to help our patients with dementia?
Our memory room has been especially designed to be reminiscent of a bygone era. There are books, games, wing backed chairs around a fireplace to create a ‘living room’ feel, coronation crockery/memorabilia. The memory room is a lovely social space that is located off the corridor adjacent to Colwell ward, and is a welcoming and homely environment which is much less clinical for our patients and therefore a welcome escape.
Keeping patients active and engaged
We are very fortunate to have two Associate Practitioners for Dementia. Bev and Charlotte are easily identifiable by their lime green tops, and can be seen out on the wards every day spending time with our patients. This can be anything from colouring, puzzles, playing games, reading or listening to a patient who wants to reminisce. They can also be seen leading a sing song!
Patients that are well enough are taken to the memory room and once Covid restrictions are lifted they aim to run a programme of activities including breakfast clubs, bingo sessions, afternoon tea and many more fun activities to keep patients occupied. Another important part of their work is to undertake audits to see what is working and help improve our service going forward. They use a multidisciplinary approach and work with other agencies when needed to ensure patients are safe.
Blankets and twiddlemuffs
You may see some of our patients have a hand made blanket with them. Every blanket is individual to ensure that they can be recognised and these go home with the patient when they are discharged. We are extremely grateful to our local community for their continuous support in knitting and crocheting these for us.
Twiddlemuffs are also hand made and have multiple attachments for the patient to fiddle with and keep their hands occupied. Again they go home with the patient.
In October 2020 we were delighted to receive a potting shed which is located on the patio area on Colwell ward. We are aware that a lot of people love gardening so in good weather we will be able to take our patients outside and let them enjoy some planting.
Food and drinks
We are pleased to be able to provide a range of snacks for patients in between meals. Patients can be convinced they’ve eaten a meal when in fact they’ve left it or are certain they haven’t been fed when they’ve actually eaten a full meal. Having snacks available for in between meals can help alleviate these issues.
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