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04Aug2016

New clocks to help orientate dementia patients 

Staff at Grimsby hospital have been fundraising to help improve the environment for dementia patients.

Patients with dementia can become confused when in an unfamiliar environment, such as a hospital ward.  

But thanks to the fundraising efforts of a group of hospital support assistants* new clocks have been purchased which should help to orientate confused patients.

Ten new clocks have been purchased showing not just the time but the day and month as well.

They are being put up in wards C5 and B3 (respiratory and general surgery) as they tend to treat a lot of patients who have dementia.

Sue Sinclair, hospital support assistant team leader, said: “We’ve been fundraising for a while now to benefit dementia patients, mainly through cake sales at the hospital and events like the Cleethorpes Carnival.

“The clocks have a big face so it’s easy to read the time. They also have the date on to help with the patient’s orientation. We are thrilled to see the benefits of our fundraising first hand for ourselves.”

Sue and her colleagues raised £1,400 some of which was spent on clocks. The remainder of the cash will be spent on other initiatives to improve the environment for dementia patients.

Research shows that appropriately designed environments can reduce agitation, challenging behaviour and the need to prescribe anti-psychotic medication. Other improvements include better nutrition and hydration and increased engagement in meaningful activities.

Rachel Greenbeck is a quality matron with a special focus on dementia care. She says its important hospitals adapt to the needs of the local community: “People with dementia over the age of 65 currently occupy up to a quarter of hospital beds at one time. Hospital environments are particularly challenging for people with memory and communication problems, with cluttered ward layouts, poor signage and other hazards.  These clocks are just one step we are taking to ensure the environment is suitable for dementia patients.”

If you would like to make a donation, specifically to help patients with dementia, then make a donation to the golden leaves fund via the Health Tree Foundation.

*The hospital support assistant is a multi-skilled job role combining ward caterer, ward domestic and ward support roles.

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