Memory lane day room in Dorset County Hospital

ContactDebbie Baxter, Senior Sister, Barnes Ward, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
AddressDorset County Hospital, Williams Avenue, Dorchester, DT1 2JY

What is being done?

A 1950’s style day room has been set up in Dorset County Hospital, enabling patients with dementia to participate in reminiscence therapy, games and art activities.

What is new and different?

Although we are aware that projects like this exist in care homes, we believe it to be the first of its kind in an acute hospital environment.

What difference this seems to be making

It is seen to be making a difference to the patients experience. For example the patients with dementia  have more structure to their day which in turn means that they are no longer ’wandering’, or sitting by their beds with no stimulation. Whilst in the day room their diet and fluid intake has increased as meals are taken in the room in the company of others and meal times have become a much more sociable time. Evidence is recorded in the patients’ records.

Other improvements include:

  • The patients’ sleeping patterns have improved (which will be formally audited).
  • The patients are more inclined to allow hand therapy/ pampering sessions which addresses hand and nail hygiene.
  • The patients’ relatives and carers can learn new ways of understanding and connecting.

Plans for taking the project forward

  • Audit the effects on patients’ sleep patterns
  • Audit the reduction of falls/ behavioural patterns
  • Assist surgical division to set up a Memory Day room
  • Link and share practice within the South West