There are over 2,000 people living with dementia in the Wirral area, and Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust cares for many of these patients.
With figures set to rise, the Trust is keen to ensure they provide the best quality of care for their patients and families. Last week, during Dementia Awareness week, the Trust opened a ‘Memories Café’ at Arrowe Park Hospital as part of this commitment.
The idea for the café came about when Margaret Davies, Matron for the Older People’s Services, attended a conference on dementia as part of ongoing LiA work. She says: “An acute ward is not the right environment for these patients to spend their day. Sometimes they become quite distracted and distressed just by being there”.
Dementia patients don't like disruption to their normal routine or being away from their familiar surroundings. The Memories Café offers an ideal location for patients and their carers to spend time together - somewhere they can relax and feel more at home. This will really help to enhance the patient experience. In addition, staff can spend time in the café with patients, giving them support and observing how they cope in a non-ward environment.
The design of the café has been informed by the needs of the patient. It is brightly lit to reduce shadows which dementia patients can find confusing. The seats are bright orange and green to help reduce confusion and disorientation. The wallpaper and wooden panelling is homely and 1950’s style to help patients remember a familiar home environment from their past. There is also a 1950’s TV showing old films and programmes, and an old style radio. Old board games, books, and local history books all serve as memory joggers.
This is a special place for patients and their visitors to spend time together rather than sitting beside a bed in a ward.