Stay With Me – New Initiative Aims to Support Patients With Dementia
Family members caring for patients with dementia at Forth Valley Royal Hospital are to be given extra support as part of a new project in Ward B21. Although NHS Forth Valley already operates flexible visiting hours, the new initiative will provide opportunities for relatives and carers to stay, if they wish, to provide reassurance and support or help with mealtimes and personal care.
The pilot is being trialled as part of John’s Campaign, a national drive which aims to provide the best possible care for people with dementia when they are admitted to hospital. The ward has bought two buddy chairs to allow a family member to stay overnight, where appropriate.
NHS Forth Valley, Senior Charge Nurse – Ward B21, Nicola Doonan, said: “This pilot will enable people to stay with their loved ones if they wish. Families and carers are an integral part of that person’s life and identity and often their last and best means of connection with the world. If this pilot is successful we hope to roll it out to other wards across the hospital.”
The pilot project has been launched to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week Scotland (29 May – 4th June 2017) and a series of events across NHS Forth Valley. NHS staff, along with representatives from Alzheimer’s Scotland and local carers’ centres, will be organising stands to offer information, support and advice to families. Drop in ‘tea and blether’ sessions will also be held at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and the area’s four community hospitals – Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Stirling and Bo’ness This will enable relatives, carers and patients to have an informal chat and meet others in similar situations.
Twenty-nine Dementia Champions work across the health board area to provide specialist advice and training to local staff. Activity boxes have been purchased which relatives and staff can use to engage and interact with patients. These include dominoes, cards and reminiscence boxes which are available throughout inpatient areas wards. Another initiative which has been introduced to support families caring for people with dementia includes Playlist for Life, whereby a person’s personal playlist is downloaded onto a device to then allow them to listen to it with their family or carers.
Dementia Awareness Week Events in Forth Valley
Monday 29th May 2017
Forth Valley Royal Hospital – Information, Support and Advice Drop-in*, Atrium (11.00am – 3.00pm)
Tuesday 30th May 2017
Forth Valley Royal Hospital – Tea & Blether – Restaurant (1.00 – 2.00pm)
Stirling Community Hospital – Information, Support and Advice Drop-in (10.30 – 1pm) Tea & Blether (1.00 – 2.00pm)
Wednesday 31st May 2017
Forth Valley Royal Hospital – Tea & Blether, Ward A21 (1.00 – 2.00pm)
Falkirk Community Hospital – Information, Support and Advice Drop-in (10.30 – 1pm), Tea & Blether (1.00 – 2.00pm)
Thursday 1st June 2017
Forth Valley Royal Hospital – Tea & Blether – Ward B21 (1.00 – 2.00pm)
Bo’ness Community Hospital – Information, Support and Advice Drop-in (10.30 – 1pm) Tea & Blether (1.00 – 2.00pm)
Friday 2nd June 2017
Forth Valley Royal Hospital – Tea & Blether, Ward 4, Mental Health Unit (1.00 – 2.00pm)
Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre – Information, Support and Advice Drop-in (10.30 – 1.00pm) Tea & Blether (1.00 – 2.00pm)
John’s Campaign is named after Dr John Gerrard, who died in November 2014. It was founded by his daughter Nicci Gerrard and her friend Julia Jones with a single, simple principle; when someone with dementia is admitted to hospital, the medical staff should do all within their power to make access easy for family carers and utilise their expert knowledge and their love.