New dementia friendly approach at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Sherly Binu, Dementia Advisor

Hinchingbrooke Hospital has recently benefited from the introduction of new dementia friendly items thanks to a generous and anonymous legacy donation.

The donation has given the opportunity for the hospital to fit new blue doors in all inpatient and outpatient areas, as well as the purchase of more blue crockery. It has been proven that vivid colours improve wayfinding, navigation and independence for those living with dementia.

Alison Gray, Dementia Specialist Nurse for the Trust, said: “Hospitals can be a difficult environment for people with dementia. The level of care is important as well as the environment within which care is delivered. The correct colours, textures and layout of the buildings can help to reduce confusion, isolation and anxiety and help people live well with their dementia.”

Research has shown that well-designed healthcare buildings can help patients to recover better and also have a positive effect on their wellbeing. There is clear evidence that the right environment has benefits not only for people who use care services, but also their families, carers and staff.

“We’re fortunate to have been able to introduce many initiatives and ways of working that benefit those with dementia,” says Alison. “We have provided distraction boxes in all patient areas, silent clocks with visual displays, and we offer staff ‘alternative dementia training’ which has been funded from our Hospital Charity’s Dementia funds. We are very thankful for all donations – they really do make such a difference.”

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