A quarter of patients in our hospitals live with a dementia or some form of confusion. We are working to ensure that these people and carers receive the individualised and sensitive care that is appropriate to their needs, and that they therefore stay in hospital for as short a time as possible.
Our Clinical Specialist for dementia, Karen Breese, works with the Corporate Nursing team to improve the Patient and Carer experience within the hospital. Karen also works with the Dementia Support Workers. You can read more about the Team on the Dementia Team Poster.
Some of the work of the team involves the Dementia Screening programme for all unscheduled admissions of people who are aged 75 years and over. They also work with younger people living with dementia and their carers’, and can be contacted at both sites through switchboard.
The team got involved in care of people with dementia because they wanted to make a difference. Over 840, 000 people are living with dementia, affecting over 22 million people in the UK, either as a family member, neighbour or friend. One in three people over 65 will die with dementia and the average age of a patient in an acute hospital is 75. A large part of the work is training, as all our staff at the Trust need to know about dementia.
We hold Dementia Friendly Cafés monthly at our Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, which are known as the Golden Moments Café.
Interested in working with us?
For more information about vacancies in the Trust please visit our Belong to Something website.
Alzheimer’s Society Drop-In Stand – Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
Alzheimer’s Virtual Reality
DEEP – A guide to using language about dementia
Delirium Patient Information Leaflet
Delirium Awareness – Youtube Video
Dementia Services at SaTH
Finger Food for Dementia Patients at SaTH
Dementia and Pain Relief – Patient Information Booklet
Thomas Whitelaw, Dementia Carer: Power of Attorney
Some of things we are working on
These stickers are placed on the headboards, the “patient status at a glance” board on the wards/notes/wristbands, and on investigation requests, such as to X-ray. Patients choose whether to opt into this scheme and there is information available on each ward for all patients and carers’.
Our staff, across both hospitals, work to improve the experience of people living with dementia, their carers’ experience, and their friends and families as well, by using the REACH approach. For more information about this, please contact the services Clinical Specialist through the contact details in the “key info” box.
Carers are encouraged to visit and stay with patients living with dementia in order to provide reassurance, support, and help with eating and drinking and other day to day activities. Staff can provide you with a Carer Passport which you can show to any hospital staff if asked. For more information please view our Johns Campaign poster.
Please see our Dementia Friendly Hospital Charter below for all areas, as part of our work to become a Dementia Friendly Trust.
We are part of the Dementia Action Alliance and sign up to this as part of our pledge.
More than 70% of over 70 year-olds and 40% of over 50 year-olds have some form of hearing loss. If a person also has dementia, a sensory impairment compounds communication difficulties. People with a hearing loss have a greater risk of developing dementia and depression. 35% of patients with a hearing loss have experienced difficulty communicating with their carer, Doctor or Nurse.
We have shared the pink hearing aid boxes with all wards and departments to keep hearing aids safe.
People living with dementia can experience problems with the daily routine and this includes eating & drinking. Sometimes people are unable to communicate or recognise that they are thirsty which means they often forget to take a drink. This can lead to headaches, increased confusion, urinary tract infections and constipation, all of which can make the symptoms of dementia worse.
On the flip side, dehydration can create symptoms similar to dementia – an experience which can be confusing for both the person and carer when simply rehydrating them back to good health may be all that is required!
Drinking a sufficient amount of water along with a healthy balanced diet is a core part of managing the condition and is essential to support the physical and mental well-being of dementia sufferers. An older person is recommended to have 2-3 pints of water a day (that’s around 6 tea cups!)
How can a cup like Droplet® help?
Droplet® identifies when the user has not drunk for some time and uses subtle flashing lights and recorded audio messages to remind the person to take a drink. Entirely customisable, it is designed inthe familiar shape of the mugs and cups we use at home, making it recognisable for dementia sufferers and more enjoyable to drink from than the ‘baby beaker’ style cups often used in care homes and hospitals.
Familiar objects, routines & sounds form an important part of dementia care. With this in mind, the Droplet® reminder base has been designed to allow loved ones and carers to record positive messages that gently encourage the user to drink. As well as benefitting the user, it also alerts the carer so they can monitor hydration levels and patterns in patients whilst spotting the signs of potential dehydration early on.
The This Is Me leaflet is a practical tool that people living with dementia can use to tell staff about their needs, preferences, likes, dislikes and interests. This enables health and social care professionals to understand the person as an individual and to deliver person-centred or individualised care that is tailored specifically to the person’s needs when admitted to hospital. Knowing a person’s favourite drink, or that they used to be a postman, for example, helps our staff understand how to communicate and ensures that the person is as calm as possible.
This Is Me leaflet can therefore help reduce stress for the person and their carer. It can also help prevent difficulties with communication, or serious issues with malnutrition and dehydration. There are guidance notes on the back page to help you complete the This is Me leaflet.
For more information, please see the Youtube video below.
During the Coronavirus outbreak, we understand that things may be challenging. That’s why we have adapted the This is me Patient Passport to a one page “at a glance” sheet, called About me. You can print this off and complete it and it will travel around with the patient to give Healthcare staff helpful tips about the patient’s personal needs.
Tel: 01952 240209
Address: Carers Centre, The Glebe Centre, Glebe Street, Wellington, Telford TF1 1JP
Carers support line – 01743 341995
Address: Unit 12 , Tilstock Cresent, Sutton Farm, Shrewsbury SY2 6HW
Telford Tel: 01952 250 392
Rooms F12, F13, F14 and F15, The Glebe Centre, Glebe Street, Wellington, Shropshire, TF1 1JP
01743 261000 Ext 3571
01952 641222 Ext 4679