(19/05/2014 UHL Press Release)
"Dont bottle it up" campaign Dementia Awareness Week 2014 (18 – 24 May) is encouraging people with worries about dementia to come forward and discuss their anxieties.
Leicester’s Hospitals continues to carry out invaluable work with dementia support teams to improve patient care across the trust and will be supporting the awareness week with a special dementia awareness roadshow.
Aimed to increase awareness amongst staff, patients and visitors and demonstrate the work being carried out by our Meaningful Activities Facilitators and the new Alzheimer’s Society Hospital Liaison Service, a team of experts in dementia care will be visiting each of the restaurants at Leicester Royal, the General and Glenfield Hospital during Dementia Awareness Week.
The Hospital Liaison Dementia Support Service was recently launched at Leicester Royal Infirmary to provide support, extra information and advice to patients with dementia and their families. Based on ‘person-centred’ documents established by the Alzheimer’s Society and Leicester’s Hospitals, the service emphasises the need for understanding individual patients and their specific needs.
Additionally, Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support Workers are now available to visit people with dementia and their loved ones before a planned admission to ease the emotional upheaval of coming to hospital. These visits allow for additional questions, information and the chance to complete a ‘This Is Me’ leaflet; encouraging person-centred care both outside and inside the hospital setting.
Jo Rodwell, Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support Manager in Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “This service is an exciting opportunity to build on the good work that is already going on at the hospital to ensure people with the condition are getting the best possible care. We’re dedicated to improving patient experience, reducing time spent in hospital as well as re-admissions."
The Meaningful Activity Service, introduced at Leicester Royal Infirmary in September 2013 is offering more support to three older people’s ward. To support the physical, sensory and psychological well-being of patient’s with dementia, activities such as arts and crafts, reminiscence and music therapy activities are encouraged to create a sense of comfort and relaxation on the hospital ward. It links directly to the Volunteer Services in which 25 ‘Forget Me Not’ Volunteers are being trained to provide support for the activities arranged by the new team of facilitators.
Lara Wealthall, senior nurse for Older People at Leicester’s Hospitals, explains: “So far, both of these services have shown extremely positive results and new systems of support continue to be reviewed to shape our new Dementia Implementation Plan.”
The Dementia Implementation Plan, developed with the help of local and national stakeholders including Healthwatch, Age UK, Alzheimer’s society and Carers Federation, has eight key work streams to shape and focus priorities.
Lara continues: “We hope the Plan will provide clear structure, facilitating greater community-wide communication and engagement which in turn will positively affected patient and carer experiences throughout their healthcare journey.”
A Dementia Awareness Training scheme was established in May 2013 with different levels available for all staff, depending on their involvement with patients. Over 7,000 staff have received basic dementia awareness training with a further 2,700 completing the enhanced awareness levels since its implementation.
With more than 3000 people living with dementia in Leicester and a total of 11,000 across the county and city, it is important these innovative support schemes continue to develop, alongside the increased level of care and awareness for dementia patients.
For further information about Dementia Awareness Week, please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/remembertheperson