Find out how our dementia care team supports patients.
How does the team support patients?
Understanding individual needs
For someone with dementia, spending time in an unfamiliar place and meeting new people, such as those providing clinical care, can be very unsettling and distressing. The team works in partnership with carers, relatives and ward staff to ensure that patients’ individual needs are understood and met.
Eating and drinking
Patients with dementia often experience a loss of appetite while they are in hospital. The dementia care team therefore has a particular focus on supporting patients to eat and drink during their stay. Our nutritional support project (NOSH), funded by the Imperial College Healthcare Charity, uses snack boxes and stimulating activities to encourage patients to eat. We also encourage carers and relatives to eat with patients during their hospital stay where possible.
We also have a strong focus on ensuring our staff recognise and treat pain in our patients with dementia, as they are often unable to express what they are feeling easily. We use a special assessment tool to identify the presence of pain and treat it.
We encourage our staff, carers and relatives to use hand massage to relax our patients who have dementia, particularly when they are distressed or anxious. All of our ward staff have access to safe, hypoallergenic massage oils.
Activity and social interaction
We know that it can be difficult for people with dementia to occupy themselves without support. We therefore work with ward staff to provide meaningful activity for these patients. A variety of different kits which include items such as puzzles, soft balls and books are available on wards.
We are also part of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Side by Side programme, which provides some of our wards with specially trained volunteers to support activity and social interaction.
How does the team support carers and relatives?
We are committed working in partnership with carers and relatives. We run weekly drop in sessions for anyone who would like advice, information or support from a member of our team. No appointment is necessary, just come and see us:
- 17.00 to 18.00, Wednesdays, PALS office, Ground floor, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) building, St Mary’s Hospital
- 14.00 to 15.30, Mondays, 8 South ward, Charing Cross Hospital
Carers and relatives are also eligible for a Carer’s Passport which enables you to be present on the ward at any time. The passport is available from ward staff upon request.
Patient information leaflets
- Information pack for carers of people with dementia
- Understanding delirium
- Helping someone with dementia to eat
- When a person with dementia stops eating
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