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Bury St Edmunds: New measures to help patients with dementia

PUBLISHED: 16:20 27 August 2014

Dementia trainer Maggie Woodhouse and assistant practitioner Joanne Hayward

Dementia trainer Maggie Woodhouse and assistant practitioner Joanne Hayward

Andy Abbott

Being admitted to hospital can be a frightening and disorientating experience for anyone - but for a person with dementia, the difficulty is multiplied.

On top of the reason for the admission, the hospital environment can exasperate the symptoms of dementia.

So at West Suffolk Hospital, which is currently working with the East Anglian Daily Times on the Forget-Me-Not Dementia Campaign, a number of initiatives are being
introduced to make hospital stays better for people with cognitive problems.

The first of these is the ‘This is Me’ leaflet filled in by the patient’s family. Dementia practitioner Maggie Woodhouse, who is at the helm of the new measures, said: “The person may not understand why they are there; they may find the ward busy, loud and unfamiliar.

“‘This is Me’ contains information about the person such as likes, dislikes, family and work
history, which helps the staff to deliver personalised care to the patient.”

The Forget-Me-Not flower is also being displayed above the beds of patients who have been diagnosed with dementia as a symbol to remind the ward staff to adapt their communication and approach, such as allowing more response time. In addition, the hospital is introducing a blue wristband that highlights to staff that the patient has a diagnosis of dementia.

Ms Woodhouse added: “This is particularly useful for staff who may not work directly with the patient such as porters, housekeeping or X-ray staff.

“If you have a relative coming into hospital, either planned or if it is an emergency admittance, please tell the staff on the ward that the person has dementia so we can support the patient with the use of these tools.”

Few of us can imagine what it feels like to be born in a body that you do not recognise as your own.

Police have launched an attempted murder investigation after a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in Osborne Street, Colchester, in the early hours of this morning.

A new road, which ran almost £5m over budget, faces fresh controversy after it emerged a council employee involved in the project also completed work for the road’s developers through his private company.

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

Emergency services were called to an incident in Stoke-by-Nayland where a car overturned and ended up on its roof.

A Suffolk family had the BBC’s DIY SOS team spend 10 days at their property in November.

Witham MP Priti Patel is urging schools in the region to take advantage of the opportunity to visit the infamous Holocaust concentration camp Auschwitz, as part of a nationwide programme to educate pupils of the atrocities.

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