Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: Dementia awareness now on the increase

14:13 26 March 2014

Official launch of the Forget-Me-Not Dementia Campaign at West Suffolk Hospital. Left to right, Maggie Woodhouse and Julie Fountain.

Official launch of the Forget-Me-Not Dementia Campaign at West Suffolk Hospital. Left to right, Maggie Woodhouse and Julie Fountain.

Archant

In the past three years
awareness of dementia has increased dramatically.

shares

This is largely due to wider publicity and better education sparked by a national dementia strategy.

At West Suffolk Hospital, a dementia practitioner has been employed to educate staff and volunteers, with an emphasis on providing the best possible support to patients with cognitive problems while they are in the hospital’s acute wards.

The practitioner, Maggie Woodhouse, provides training for more than 500 staff aimed at helping them to differentiate between dementia and delirium, and dispelling some of the myths surrounding the condition.

She said: “A lot of the training centres on putting people in real-life situations so they can see what it might feel like to be on a hospital ward when you have no memory and don’t know why you are there. It’s a way of enabling staff to empathise.”

Money raised via the West Suffolk Hospital’s Forget-Me-Not Dementia Campaign will be used to support ongoing work to make the hospital’s acute wards and surrounding corridors more dementia friendly.

During the past year, some of the wards and individual bays have already been painted in bright contrasting colours and a memory walk corridor is planned.

Ms Woodhouse said: “The short term memory of someone with dementia is damaged by the condition but long term memory is still intact. They are able to remember things that happened a long time ago but unable to identify with what’s happening at present.

“The colours help dementia patients to be able to see which bay they came from and that in turn promotes independence and makes people feel more at home so they are able to engage.

“The memory walk corridor will feature pictures of towns in west Suffolk and old photos so staff can bring patients there to chat about the pictures.”

Ms Woodhouse also co-ordinates a team of dementia champions – staff trained
to promote best practice
and identify patients with dementia on the wards to make sure their voice is heard.

She also provides training and ongoing support to a team of six reminiscence volunteers who spend
time with patients, using memory materials to spark conversations.

Ms Woodhouse concluded: “I have been working with people with dementia for 30 years but in the past few years, things have really started to take off in terms of supporting people with the condition.

“It’s making a big difference giving training to
people who are then able
to understand what it
might feel like to have
dementia and they can use that empathy in their hospital roles.”

shares

0 comments

Yum Yums Cookery School, a nonprofit community organisation which runs cookery classes at primary schools in Ipswich, has received funding worth £500. Children at Whitehouse Primary celebrating the news. Adults L-R Dawn Burrows, Charlotte Burrows, Ron Impey, Emma Youngman.

An after-school cookery class scheme is celebrating after receiving a vital funding boost.

Foxglove Gardens

There is a dip in Foxhall Road, a depression that is in geographical terms the start of the Mill River, writes John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

Auschwitz Birkenau

The stories of the holocaust have been recounted in history lessons for decades but there is a difference between what we read in books and what we see for ourselves as 15 Suffolk pupils discovered on a visit to Auschwitz .

Firefighters from Essex and Suffolk tackled the fire at Ashen.

Firefighters from Suffolk and Essex spent much of Saturday night tackling a blaze in a 3,000-tonne stack of straw at Ashen, near Stoke by Clare.

Should cyclists be allowed to go through red traffic lights when it is safe?

A cyclist rode through a red light and turned left while I was walking the dog this week. It was 6.20am, there was no other traffic so no risk but, officially, the cyclist had broken the law.

Once upon a time, shopping was my therapy, writes mum-of-three Ellen Widdup.

Air ambulance. Stock image

The air ambulance was called to the A12 at the Wangford bypass at around 5.40pm following reports that a woman had been injured in a car crash involving two vehicles.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24