Aldeburgh: New facility set to open at community hospital for people with dementia

PEOPLE with dementia will soon be able to benefit from a state of the art facility.

A new multi sensory room will be opened at Aldeburgh Community Hospital tomorrow.

The facility can be used in a variety of ways but will initially help people who have dementia, especially those using the hospital’s day centre.

It will include projectors which simulate the sky at night or show images to aid memories, a revolving mirror ball, a bubble tube and fibre optic strands which change colour, a light panel which responds to voices and other noises, an aroma fan, a reclining massage chair and small items to handle, squeeze, stroke and smell.

Specially trained staff will also be on hand to ensure users get the most out of the experience and reap the benefits.

The project has been funded by the Aldeburgh Community Hospital League of Friends and chairman Tony Bone said they were delighted to be able to help.

“We believe that this resource will be of great benefit to those in the local area suffering from dementia,” he said.

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The hospital is run by Suffolk Community Healthcare and the sensory room project has been planned and delivered by day and treatment lead Christine Gale.

“The therapy works in different ways for different patients,” she said. “It helps to promote relaxation for those who are anxious, and those who are withdrawn and uncommunicative can be brought out of themselves and helped to share their thoughts and feelings.

“The benefits for people visiting this room will last beyond the sessions, and are prolonged with regular visits.

“We know that this type of therapy improves interaction between staff and patients, benefiting both. It is hoped that in future the facility will be used to support pain relief, palliative care and rehabilitation.”

Patrick Birchall, contract director at Serco Health, which is responsible for delivering Suffolk’s community healthcare, added: “This facility is a hugely beneficial addition to the services we can offer our patients.

“We would like to thank the Aldeburgh Hospital League of Friends for their ongoing support and dedication to improving the patient experience and caring environment at the hospital.”

N The room will be opened this afternoon by day centre user John Cooper and his wife, Dr Margaret Cooper.

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