Clock This – Special Clocks and Signs Installed for Dementia Patients

Dementia-friendly clocks and signs have now started to appear in dementia wards in community hospitals across Forth Valley, and adult wards in Forth Valley Royal Hospital. The large, rectangular clocks bear the day, the date and the month, and are easily recognisable to patients, who sometimes find numbers confusing or difficult to read as they can lose track of time.

The clocks will also be accompanied by brightly-painted signs which point the way to showers, toilets, bathrooms, bedrooms and sitting rooms. Each carry a picture which helps people know where to go.

Audrey Melrose, Alzheimer’s Scotland Nurse Consultant for Dementia in NHS Forth Valley said:

 It’s really important for all patients to feel comfortable in their surroundings. These simple aids are worth their weight in gold.”

‘Welcome to ward’ signs are also being rolled out and, in addition, what are known as ‘orientation tents’ are being supplied for bedside lockers. The small cards, which sit together in the shape of a tent, make the area easily recognisable.

Up to 82,000 people in Scotland are estimated to have dementia and the number is expected to double over the next 25 years. Already health service staff across NHS Forth Valley are being prepared for the challenges of dementia, which, within the space of a generation could result in a third of all patients being treated in emergency departments and acute wards having some form of the illness.

NHS Forth Valley now has 11 specially-trained Dementia Champions – and a further three in training – to help drive up standards of care for patients and a number of training events have been held to raise awareness amongst staff across the organisation and ensure better outcomes for patients with dementia.