Supporting people who are living with dementia is one of the biggest challenges our health care system faces. LNWH Charity is playing a vital role in improving dementia care in North West London.
Supporting people who are living with dementia is one of the biggest challenges our health care system faces. There is much emphasis placed upon how care is delivered but equally important is the environment and surroundings within which that care is being administered.
Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. This may include problems with memory loss, mental sharpness and quickness, language and understanding.
According to latest studies, there are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia. One in 14 people over 65 will develop dementia, and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80. However, the number of people with dementia is increasing, mainly because people are living longer, which has resulted in more people with dementia being cared for in hospitals for a variety of medical conditions including trauma, strokes and cardiovascular disease.
There is strong evidence to show that if the right environment has a benefit not only to patients and their families but also to staff providing care.
The use of specific colours, non-reflective flooring, photographs and the layout of the ward can make big improvements in a patient’s quality of life, reducing the impact of their dementia, which and allowing them more independence within the wards.
LNWH Charity are proud to have funded a dementia-friendly ward environment at NPH. The flooring was replaced with non-slip, vinyl wooden effect helping dementia sufferers feel more safe and confident. Door frames in the bays and side rooms have been painted in pastel colours to create clear, welcoming entrances, while specially designed signage has helped reduce confusion, isolation, and anxiety. In addition, the use of different colours on the ward has created a comforting atmosphere overall.
At Central Middlesex Hospital we have been able to fund a sensory table, especially designed for use by patients with dementia, something that the Charity hopes to be able to replicate across all of our hospital sites.
“All of our work supporting patients with dementia and the staff who care for them is only possible because of the generosity of our supporters whose kindness is having a really positive impact on the healthcare provided to patients living with all forms of dementia.”
Wendy George, Head of LNWH Charity