Will you help patients with dementia feel more secure and comfortable – not just at Christmas, but all year round?

Imagine waking up in a hospital bed and not knowing where you are, who anyone around you is, or why you’re there.

For someone with dementia, that feeling is very real; as you can imagine, hospital can be a frightening and unfamiliar place – especially if you have no recollection of becoming ill or injured in the first place.

What we’re fundraising for

We want to make sure patients with dementia – and their families or carers – can experience the very best care, in the very best environment. One way we hope to achieve this is to raise £20,000 so that our patients can benefit from digital reminiscence therapy.

But we need your help.

With your support we can fund tablets and unique software called RemindMeCare. RemindMeCare is revolutionising dementia care by helping staff to better understand a patient’s likes and dislikes. It uses the internet to collect video, music and photos that are relevant to someone’s life, giving a snapshot of a patient’s life story. This allows staff to build a care plan that is truly person-centred around their wishes, needs and interests.

A man who came to us was very quiet and subdued and felt very isolated. Then, one afternoon, a song was playing on the ward that he recognised from his past and he began tapping along to the music. He then started talking about a dance he’d attended when he was younger, where he’d met lots of friends. Recounting the memory brought a smile to his face for the first time since he’d arrived. From then on, staff were able to chat with him about the music he loved, which helped him to feel more comfortable and less anxious about the strange setting."

Laura Taylor, Senior Sister of our older people’s unit at Royal Surrey County Hospital

Why we need it

Reminiscence can be hugely beneficial for those with dementia. If a patient is agitated, they are much less likely to eat, drink or sleep, and they are more likely to fall.

On average, people with dementia spend nearly four times as long in hospital following a fall* – unfortunately, the fall can leave patients more frail and, together with the extended length of stay in hospital, they are much less likely to be able to return home; increasing the likelihood of them needing to go into residential care.

By encouraging patients to recall and share memories, we can better connect with patients and help reduce anxiety – and it’s that connection and communication that is vital to being able to deliver exceptional care.

How you can help

Patients with dementia can really benefit from digital reminiscence therapy and it’s already being used at other hospitals, including Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

We need your help to provide this to patients here at Royal Surrey County Hospital. By making a donation today, you can help patients with dementia feel more relaxed and happy, and can help reduce their risk of falls and length of stay in hospital.

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* Boaden, Andrew, ‘Fix Dementia Care in Hospitals’, Alzheimer’s Society, 2016, p.9, alzheimers.org.uk/fixdementiacare