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Trust strives for dementia friendly care for all
York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will be supporting the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Awareness week by staging events and activities for patients, staff and visitors.
Dementia Awareness week begins on Monday 15 May and the Trust is using the national awareness week to not only highlight its work in this important area, but to launch new initiatives. From implementing its new Dementia Strategy - to opening a new dementia café and activity room at York Hospital - the Trust is using the week as an impetus to become even more dementia friendly.
On Tuesday, Ward 37 at York Hospital will officially open its new ‘Café 37’ dementia activity room - a safe space on the ward open to patients and their visitors. The concept of the activity room is to help improve the overall wellbeing of patients with dementia by encouraging mobility and to give patients the opportunity to engage in conversation, as well as join in with activities.
The café was funded with money raised by York Teaching Hospital Charity’s Roaring 20’s Ball, held in July 2016. The ball inspired the charity’s Dementia Appeal, launched earlier this year, which aims to raise £200,000 to provide a better experience for patients living with dementia throughout the Trust.
The charity’s Dementia Appeal will fund new equipment and projects that will revolve around the everyday work of our hospitals to make sure they quickly deliver benefits for patients and their carers, families and friends.
Tracey Clark, Sister on Ward 37, explains more about Café 37: “Having a dementia activity room will bring so many benefits for everyone associated with Ward 37. The space will be an invaluable way for relatives and carers to have more involvement in the care of patients - providing them with familiar faces and improved surroundings.
“Patients will be able to relax in the new café area with their family or a volunteer, helping to keep them engaged and distracted. For staff it will be great to have a place to take patients when they become agitated so that we can divert their attention and calm them down.”
The new dementia activity room will be officially opened by Emma George, Assistant Director of Nursing, and dementia lead for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Chief Executive, Patrick Crowley. Emma said: “The Trust marks Dementia Awareness week every year and this year we wanted to do something special - the opening of our first dementia café and activity room is an important milestone for the Trust.
“Everyone needs a sense of purpose and to enjoy themselves during the day. The activity room offers an informal setting for people who are affected by memory problems to exchange experiences, receive practical and emotional support and undertake engaging and stimulating activities.
Staff from Ward 37 and representatives from York Teaching Hospital Charity will be on hand during the official opening to provide information and advice to partners, generous donors, as well as family, friends and staff. Along with a homemade cake, courtesy of staff radiographer Rachel Smith, there will be live music from local volunteers, refreshments and various activities taking place.
Beverley Geary, Chief Nurse at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is estimated that 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK and one in six people over the age of 80. With an aging population, the demand on our hospitals to provide a dementia friendly environment and specialised care is only going to increase.
“The launch of our three year dementia strategy and our new activity room reaffirms the Trust’s commitment to becoming even more dementia friendly.”
Emma adds: “This week is a time to reflect and encourage people to look beyond and understand that everyone living with dementia is still an individual.”
Other activities taking place across the Trust will include a number of fundraising events, a vintage tea party and a knit-a-thon.
14 May 2017