Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home > About us > News > News archive > 2015 > West Middlesex University Hospital hosts day of activities for Dementia Awareness Week

West Middlesex University Hospital hosts day of activities for Dementia Awareness Week

20 May 2015

This week is Dementia Awareness Week and West Middlesex University Hospital has been supporting the cause by hosting a day of special activities and talks for patients and carers directly affected by the condition.

This week is Dementia Awareness Week and West Middlesex University Hospital has been supporting the cause by hosting a day of special activities and talks for patients and carers directly affected by the condition.

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. This includes problems with:

  • memory loss
  • thinking speed
  • mental agility
  • language
  • understanding
  • judgement

Dementia usually occurs in people over the age of 65, although it can also affect younger people, but with an aging population this means we are likely to see a rise in the number of people with the condition. Early diagnosis can help people with dementia get the right treatment to slow it down and maintain mental function, as well as help relatives to prepare and plan for the future.

On Tuesday 19 May, inpatients on West Middlesex’s Crane Ward took part in a range of activities, starting with Singing for the Brain, a service provided by the Alzheimer’s Association. Singing for the Brain brings people together in a fun, friendly and stimulating social environment with musical activities which build on the well-known preserved memory for song and music.

There were also quizzes, information talks on dementia friendly environments and signposting for carers, as well as a group exercise class involving gentle chair exercises. Alzheimer’s Society, Integrated Neurological Services and specialist Dementia nurses were all in attendance to support the day.

Cathy McCann, Critical Care Lead Specialist Nurse said: “We have had a great time marking Dementia Awareness Week today. Being in hospital is never a nice thing so to be able to do something a bit different for our patients and their carers was great, all while supporting a worthy cause and raising awareness of the condition too.  

“A large proportion of people with dementia go undiagnosed because people are unaware of the condition and what can be done to manage it. At any given time around half of all inpatients at the hospital will be older people, aged 75 and above, and we would typically expect half of these to have dementia/delirium or both. This is why we have made staff education and awareness a key priority in order to improve the experience of those with dementia while they are in hospital.”

The hospital’s Crane Ward was refurbished in 2013 to be a dementia-friendly ward, thanks to a £99,000 grant from the Department of Health and £10,000 from Bouygues Energies & Services.  Since its reopening in December 2014, the changes have shown noticeable improvements for patients’ wellbeing and the long term aim for the hospital is to improve all patient areas to make them Dementia friendly.