Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 16°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

Libby Brown headteacher at Kyson Primary, Woodbridge.

A board of school governors has launched a fierce attack on Suffolk County Council, accusing it of putting their headteacher through a “painful and protracted ordeal” – stopping her from working for almost two months.

Damaged bridge at Blunts Hall between Witham and Hatfield Peverel. Picture: Network Rail

Many services travelling between Ipswich, north Essex and London faced disruption this morning as emergency repair work on a bridge at Hatfield Peverel continues.

Barclays bank on Princes Street in Ipswich.

Two more men have been arrested after a fight which ended up closing Barclays bank in Ipswich town centre.

Carrie Willis is pictured at Ipswich Art School with the jug.

The mother of the little boy who accidentally broke a puzzle jug in a Christchurch Mansion mishap has contacted museums service staff in Ipswich to tell them how happy he is that the historic piece has been repaired.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich was evacuated for an hour today after a man was seen acting suspiciously in the car park.

Large crowds during the Maverick Festival

Maverick Festival director Paul Spencer says people have accused him of “making a deal with the devil” when it comes to the weather on the first weekend of July.

The A14

A caravan has overturned on the westbound carriageway of the A14 near Stowmarket.

Tom Odell performs at Thetford High lodge in the last of the Forestry commission summer open air concerts of 2015 - Lee Blanchflower

Singer-songwriter Tom Odell took to the stage at Thetford Forest last night to play out the final show of the Forest Live concert series in Suffolk.

Mandy Hearle launches her Ping project

A fundraiser who last year completed a daily dare day for global emergency medical aid has taken on an equally ambitious venture for 2015.

At Ipswich Hospital, the number of days lost due to ill-health fell from 25,790 in 2013/14 to 23,547 in 2014/15  a fall of 9% in a year.

The number of days lost due to staff sickness at Suffolk’s two main hospitals has fallen over the last year.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages