A hospital on the Isle of Wight has opened a new ‘dementia lounge’ to provide patients with a therapeutic space where they can spend quality time with family and staff.
The patient lounge, developed on Colwell ward at St Mary’s Hospital, is specifically designed to create a relaxing and welcoming environment to help encourage patients to spend time out of their bed space and spark reminiscence.
“The lounge will allow staff to engage in meaningful activities with the patients but will also enable them to socialise with other patients”
Lead dementia nurse at the NHS Isle of Wight Trust, Viv Tomlinson said: “A busy hospital ward can be very daunting for people with dementia, so the lounge is able to offer them a quiet and calming space, so they don’t feel overwhelmed.”
Ms Tomlinson said the new space included a fireplace with comfortable chairs and was furnished with historic items such as old newspapers, books, ornaments and a grammar phone “to stimulate memories and support reminiscence”.
She said: “The lounge will allow staff to engage in meaningful activities with the patients but will also enable them to socialise with other patients.
“We are all very happy and grateful to be able to offer this lounge to the patients of St Mary’s, it will provide great comfort to those who need it and will improve the overall experience of a hospital stay,” she added.
The new lounge was designed by the King’s Fund charity – which works to improve health and care in England – and was launched last week.
Lead for the development, Hedley Finn, explained how with the support of staff and volunteers, using the “therapeutic and calming space” will help to improve patients wellbeing being and change their moods.
The work was initially funded by the Patients with a Disability Working Group who identified the need for a dedicated space for people with dementia.