An appeal to provide even more dementia friendly facilities within Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has reached a milestone £50,000.
Sheffield Hospitals Charity is aiming to raise £200,000 this year to deliver a range of dementia care improvements across the city’s wards and departments.
Dementia currently affects one in four hospital patients and, on average, there are 400 people with a form of the progressive brain condition being treated in Sheffield hospitals at any one time – a number that is set to grow as people live longer.
The Dementia Appeal has already funded the development of Specialist Dementia Practitioners who are helping to identify and spearhead improvements which will support dementia patients.
Dementia Practitioner at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sally Byers, said: “We have already produced a series of guides for estates departments, clinical teams and ward staff – highlighting ways we can make a huge difference to patients with dementia.
“This can include decluttering wards and looking at signage, floor and wall colours. We are also putting together a training programme with staff across the Trust, who have registered as having an interest in dementia, who are becoming Dementia Champions.
“The aim will be for us to put together a series of study days for them so they can then roll out best practice.”
Going into an unfamiliar place, like a hospital can be frightening for people with dementia, because they may not be sure what is going on or why they are there.
Being away from their family, their home, and the security of a daily routine can cause their dementia symptoms to get worse making it more difficult for them to go home.
The vital funds raised in the Dementia Appeal will help ensure patients with dementia receive the best possible care. Physical changes to wards will make them more ‘dementia friendly’ and activities such as arts and music groups and memory sessions will keep them mentally and physically active.
A mobile dementia café is also being planned, to encourage patients to get out of bed and to socialise.
Sally added: “For anyone with dementia it is so important to have people caring for you who understand your needs.
“We’re proud of the care and treatment that people with dementia receive across Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. But together there are steps that we can take to make the time they spend in hospital as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
“These changes are above and beyond what the NHS can provide, but will make a real difference to patients’ lives which is why this appeal is so important.”