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Trust does something new for Dementia Awareness Week

York Teaching Hospital is working hard to be a Dementia Friendly organisation and is getting onboard the Alzheimer’s Society’s Awareness Week and 2015 campaign to #dosomethingnew by launching a number of new initiatives to support patients with dementia.

Dementia Awareness Week began on Monday 18 May and the Trust is using the national awareness week to not only highlight its work in this important area but to launch a number of new activities.

From a knit-a-thon to create inventions called ‘Twiddlemuffs’ to a Forget me Not Dining Initiative which encourages relatives to stay during mealtimes – the Trust is using the week as an impetus to become even more dementia friendly.

Forget me not Dining     

During Dementia Awareness Week friends and relatives will be encouraged to stay with patients during mealtimes with the launch of a new initiative called ‘Forget me not Dining.’  

Pamela Hayward Sampson, Assistant Director of Nursing, said:  “Previously we had a restricted mealtime policy which discouraged visiting during mealtimes.  However, many people with dementia have problems with eating and drinking.

“We are currently looking at changing this policy to make it more dementia friendly and are actively encouraging friends and relatives to stay during mealtimes.

“Food plays an important part in our lives. Patients with dementia can often lose their sense of time and can forget about mealtimes and eating, even when food is placed in front of them.

“Our forget me not dining initiative aims to promote a more dementia friendly approach to mealtimes and we will be serving sandwiches, cake and refreshments to relatives who stay over mealtimes during dementia awareness week.”

Dementia Friends Awareness Sessions

The Trust has also pledged its support to the Alzheimer's Society’s Dementia Friends scheme and is aiming to train 3,000 staff to become a Dementia Friend over the next 12 months. Staff can become a Dementia Friend by attending an awareness session, which pledges their support to creating a more dementia-friendly organisation.

A number of Dementia Friend sessions have been planned for the week and the Trust is also taking part in the Alzheimer Society's 24-hour Dementia Friends Marathon.

Staff are also being encouraged to attend Big Room Discussions at York, Scarborough and Bridlington Hospitals which will discuss End of Life Care and Dementia. The information gathered from these events will be used to inform and shape the Trust’s dementia and end of life care strategies.

*Photo courtesy of the Scarborough News

Twiddlemuffs Knit-a-thon

During the week, Scarborough Hospital is also holding a Twiddlemuffs Knit-a-thon and is appealing for keen knitters to get involved in a new scheme to help patients with dementia.

The project aims to create knitted inventions called ‘Twiddlemuffs’ which will be given out to patients with dementia.

The knitted bands feature trimmings such as buttons, beads, ribbons and textured fabrics on both the inside and the outside. They will be given to patients with dementia who find that twiddling with the materials and the soft fabric of the wool help provides distraction and stimulation.

Twiddle Muffs were first introduced at Warrington and Halton Trust and the idea has since been adopted by other hospital Trust’s across the country.

To find out more and to download the pattern click here.

Red Cross Volunteers

The Trust is also pleased to be working in partnership with the Red Cross and is delighted to welcome Red Cross volunteers onto its Care of the Elderly wards at York Hospital during the week who will give relaxing hand massages to patients with dementia.

19 May 2015

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"We are using the national awareness week to not only highlight our work in this important area but to launch a number of new initiatives."

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