New dementia-friendly room boosts care for elderly patients

A SPECIAL new activity room for people with dementia and delirium has been piloted to boost patient care in an elderly care ward.

The room in ward 42 at the University Hospital of North Tees has been created to help patients with dementia feel more comfortable in the unit.

It offers patients music and a TV, as well as activities and puzzles on an iPad and touchscreen system provided by My Dementia Improvement Network for the day.

The trust’s falls lead, Carol Bowler, also brought in her pet therapy approved dog for patients to interact with.

This is all set in a room with dementia friendly colours in a quiet part of the unit where enhanced care staff can help patients.

If the trial is a success, the idea will be rolled out so other ward areas can make use of the room.

Dementia specialist nurse Stephen Nicholson said: “We have created an area where patients with dementia can feel more comfortable. We are also breaking that boredom that can set in when patients are in hospital. Keeping their minds stimulated is so important.

“Evidence shows that when patients with dementia engage in appropriate activities, they spend fewer days in hospital.

“Patients who feel relaxed, eat and drink better. They also sleep better too – an anxious patient is more likely to agitated, particularly during the evening and through the night, increased activity promotes increased stimulation and this can result in a better sleep pattern’

“This won’t work for every single patient. But what we do know is that rooms like this will work for the majority and will lead to happier patients and shorter hospital admissions.”

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