On Friday 2 December members of the Berkshire Women’s Institute were warmly welcomed by Sharon Herring, Director of Nursing for Networked Care and Maria Walker, Patient Experience Facilitator, to an afternoon of learning and discussion on the care of patients in hospital with dementia.
Sharon explained: “The Women’s Institute nationally selected ‘Appropriate Care in Hospital for People with Dementia’ as their 2016/17 resolution. With this in mind we felt this would be a perfect opportunity for us to showcase our dementia friendly wards and invite the group to learn more about our dementia strategy and encourage collaborative working.
“It was a great privilege to meet Marlene Voke, County Chairman of the Berkshire Federation of the WIs and other members of the group, and to have the opportunity to discuss the work we do to support our patients with dementia and their carers.
“We are currently trialling the use of purple bands to help staff identity patients with dementia who may need additional help or supervision. Worn by the patients, the bands are easily visible enabling staff to provide the most appropriate care.
“We like to encourage our patients to get up and dressed to avoid loss of functionality, and are currently launching a project called ‘dressed for dignity’. However, in the past we found that many patient’s slippers and socks provided a hazard as they were slippery on the ward flooring. To address the problem dementia friendly flooring has now been laid throughout all of the elderly care wards, and along with special non-slip slipper socks, this has helped to reduce the number of falls.”
Following the session the group enjoyed a tour of the elderly wards, including the cinema room and reminiscence rooms, specially designed for patients with dementia.
Berkshire WI member, Sue Godwin said: “Visiting the hospital today has given me a much better understanding of how patients with dementia are cared for and what happens in a hospital – things I would never have known. It has been a very informative and worthwhile visit.”