NNUH backs dementia awareness week
During Dementia Awareness Week 18th to 24rd May – the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is highlighting environmental improvements to the ward which specialises in the care of patients with dementia, training opportunities for staff, and information for patients, carers and families.
The hospitals Elsing Ward specialises in the care of patients with dementia and the ward has received a makeover with colour coding of areas to guide patients around the ward, large local landscape photographs on the walls plus books, videos and games to help with reminisce.
The ward bays have been colour coded in yellow, purple, green and blue to match nearby toilet doors to guide patients around the ward. Items such as grab rails and toilet seats are brightly coloured to stand out. There are clocks showing the time and date to help patients orientate themselves and understand the when mealtimes will be served or when visitors will arrive.
The landscape pictures include local landmarks such as Cromer Pier, Happisburgh lighthouse and Wells beach huts. There are seating areas around the ward to encourage patients to walk about and the pictures act as a talking point, stimulating memories.
The changes were based on the national research about positive environments for patients with dementia.
Dr Martyn Patel, Dementia Lead and Consultant Geriatrician said: We have a highly skilled and committed multi-disciplinary team who have the experience and expertise to care for this group of patients. There is clear evidence that the right environment has a significant positive impact on patients with dementia, and the changes in Elsing Ward will help to improve patient experience.”
During Dementia Awareness Week there will be staff training sessions running every day, led by the hospitals Dementia Care Coaches which help staff to understand the condition and how it affects patients. The sessions will include: Dementia Friends training, compassionate communication, and understanding distressed behaviour and how to respond.
An information stand will be in place from 19-23 May, near the hospitals main restaurant, with information for carers on specialist services for people with dementia in NNUH, plus stands showcasing some of our excellent practice in the hospital including nutrition, dietetics and Age UK in the East Atrium level 2. This is in addition to the hospitals Dementia Support Team which visits patients, carers and families on the wards to provide emotional support, one to one activities for patients and signposting sources of help for families.