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Experience of dementia patients at County Hospital improved thanks to dedicated Activities co-ordinator

Dementia patients at County Hospital are benefiting from further support thanks to a new and dedicated Activities Co-ordinator role on Ward 15.

In her role on the Elderly Care ward, Shirley Webster works with the discharge liaison team and theory team to arrange daily activities for patients, including pamper days, movie mornings and tea parties, giving them a routine and a sense of purpose, while improving their self-esteem.

Shirley said: “I believe these activities have had an enormous positive impact on patients. The activities give patients something to look forward to and a reason to motivate themselves.

“The morale of the patient is at an all-time high and to see the smile on the patient’s faces and their engagement in all the activities is just amazing.”

Patients are encouraged to walk to the day room to take part in the activities which improves their mobility and prevents falls whilst in hospital, which has seen a positive impact on their recovery.

Stacey Boyjoo, County Matron said: “We are so happy to have an activities co-ordinator on the team. We have seen a reduction in falls and therapies staff are walking patients to the day room now for activities when they wouldn’t necessarily have done this before.

“Overall the benefit of having an activities co-ordinator has had a huge impact on patient recovery and care.”

Inactivity or prolonged bed rest for patients in hospital can cause deconditioning syndrome which leads to loss of muscle mass affecting a persons’ ability to perform routine activities which can lead to a loss of independence. Introducing simple activities to prevent deconditioning by remaining active during hospital admission and following discharge can impact on recovery.

Dr Amit Arora, Consultant Geriatricianadded: “This is a fantastic approach to get patients moving and out of bed, as longer bed rest for older patients can lead to substantial loss of muscle mass. Encouraging patients to take part in these daily activities comes hand in hand with the national deconditioning awareness and prevention campaign which encourages patients to sit up, great dressed, keep moving.

“This is a significant step forward for patient care and other areas could consider similar approaches to encourage physical activity and cognitive stimulation to achieve better outcomes for patients.”

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