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New room opens for patients with dementia

Abington ward opening  (3)

The new day room on Abington ward is decorated in a 1940's style (Photo credit: Andy Feltham)

A new day room has been opened at Northampton General Hospital for patients with dementia and their relatives.

Thanks to the hard work and fundraising efforts of staff on Abington ward, Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund (NHCF) and donations from the local community, over £3500 has been fundraised to decorate and furnish the new space.

Lorand Pusok, charge nurse on Abington ward, has been the driving force behind the project, alongside his ward team. “Fundraising and designing this room has been a team effort and it’s a pleasure to see it open and ready to be used by patients. Many patients who are in hospital are either sat in chairs or in their bed with little options of things to do. It can get lonely for them so by providing this space they can socialise together, play games and help them to return back home sooner."

This room has been a team effort with staff on the ward organising a masquerade ball and raffle at the Saints ground which raised £1,400. The charity NHCF matched this total alongside donations from the public and using money from the specific dementia fund, Do it for Dementia.

For patients the room provides a versatile space which can be used for socialising, playing games, sociable mealtimes and relaxation. The room which has been decorated in a 1940’s style, also provides a quiet space for calming patients who may be agitated or distressed, and discussing treatments, care or information with patients and relatives.

Catherine Lowe, dementia liaison nurse at NGH described how the room will benefit patients with dementia: “For patients with dementia this new room provides a place to share meals together and socialise with other people on the ward. This is particularly important as sometimes people staying with us lose their desire to eat and drink which slows down their recovery.

“Mealtimes are seen as a social event but being in hospital can be quite lonely. Having this space means we can encourage patients to eat together, chat and give them a calmer environment which stimulates their cognitive skills.”

The room has already been well received by patients and relatives. Pam Denny whose mum has stayed on Abington ward described the difference the room will make to patients and relatives: “Lorand and the team have a lovely ward, and the new room is a brilliant idea to get patients playing games and socialising together. It gets the brain working and gives a well needed break from sitting in a chair or bed.

“It also gives us a space to share a quiet moment with relatives and provides an alternative space for mealtimes”

The team want to make the most of the room and add more activities for patients. In future, they want to add a newspaper stand with old newspapers from varying eras to help patients with dementia reminisce, and continue to make the room a calming, recognisable space for patients and relatives.

Posted on Friday 25th May 2018
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