A dementia lounge is being supported by Newcastle Hospitals Charity to offer a calm and relaxed environment for patients, their families and carers.
The lounge on Ward 22 at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle will provide patients with a more relaxed area where they can spend time away from the noise and complex activities of the ward which can be distressing for patients with dementia.
The lounge enables patients, family and carers to relax in a calm environment with dementia friendly decoration and enables staff to provide meaningful therapeutic activities such as reminiscence therapy, supporting patients as part of their overall care.
It also provides an area where patients can spend time with less people around them, reducing the stimulation created by busy ward activities and provides much needed additional space for patients’ family and carers.
The support from the Newcastle Hospitals Charity has enabled the ward to be transformed and provided patients with a safe therapeutic space they are able to enjoy.
As part of the scheme, key dementia friendly facilities such as colour contrast facilities and handrails were installed throughout the ward to support patients as they move around, creating a more dementia friendly environment.
Paula Coulson, Senior Nurse in Nutrition and Hydration with The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Victoria Infirmary, The Freeman Hospitals and a range of community services across the City, said: “We are delighted to have secured charity funding to enhance the care we offer to patients with dementia.
“This group of patients require additional support as being in an unfamiliar environment such as a hospital ward can be distressing. The dementia lounge will provide patients with a more relaxed area where they can spend time away from the noise and complex activities of the ward.”
Patients may wish to walk around the ward and explore their environment which they can do far more safely with support from facilities such as handrails and the use of colour contrast to highlight key facilities and acts as a way finder.
“Adding these key dementia friendly features will reduce patient stress and anxiety and make the environment appropriate to deliver safe effective care for patients with dementia,” said Paula.
Ward 22 RVI is a Trauma and Orthopaedic ward caring predominantly for older patients many of who have additional support needs in terms of dementia and or delirium. The ward previously had limited dementia friendly features to support patients and lacked a lounge area where they could relax and be supported in an appropriate dementia friendly environment.