Great Western Hospital dementia ward becomes more homely


Donation funds work to improve elderly care ward for patients with dementia

An elderly care ward at Great Western Hospital has been revamped to make it more dementia friendly.

A number of alterations have been made to Jupiter Ward following a £98,000 donation from the charity, Brighter Futures.

The changes aim to make it more suitable for patients suffering from dementia.

Nursing staff are now located nearer to patients' bed bays in a bid to reduce anxiety, improve confidence and support a speedier recovery. Coloured plates have also been introduced to ensure there is contrast with food, as patients with dementia often cannot see pale foods on light-coloured plates.

And dark toilet seats and handrails have been installed which stand out to patients, and easy-access wetrooms have been fitted to enhance personal care.

In addition, the hospital will be piloting a new project where volunteers are used to encourage more social interaction at meal times by bringing tables together and encouraging patients to eat and engage in conversation.

Wendy Johnson, divisional matron for care of the older person and the matron lead for dementia, said: “I am delighted with the new ward which has been specially designed around the needs of patients with dementia.

“These discreet features will make a big difference and will help us to give patients the dignity and independence they need and deserve.

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“I hope the improvements give more peace of mind to families and carers and ultimately help to improve the experience of our patients.”