Help dementia sufferers get by with a little help from friends

Watford General Hospital
Watford General Hospital

Staff at Watford Hospital will be encouraging people to sign up and become a ‘dementia friend’ to people suffering from Alzheimer’s this week.

As part of Dementia Awareness Week, which runs until Saturday, doctors, nurses and support staff on the facility’s Bluebell Ward will be helping to raise awareness about the condition, which is estimated to affect more than 13,000 people in Herts.

Of these, only around 37% have been diagnosed with the disease.

Hospital staff will be offering tea, cakes, information and advice to patients and visitors in order to help create a million dementia friends across the country, as well as change the way people think, talk and act around dementia.

The 16-bed Bluebell ward offers specialist care for the physical and mental health of dementia patients and is also in need of items to help create a more familiar environment for patients so they can reminisce. This could include CDs, DVDs, magazines, games, non fiction books, stationery and clothes.

West Herts Hospitals Trust dementia activity co-ordinator Jeremy Ruppersburg said: “We are delighted to be supporting Dementia Awareness Week and the Dementia Friends campaign by raising awareness and understanding of this disease.

“Hospitals can often be very daunting places for patients with dementia. They are in unfamiliar territory, full of unfamiliar faces, which can be very distressing for a patient who can’t remember where they are.

“A song, a smell, a book or a magazine can often help to calm our patients by taking them back to a happy place in their life. We would welcome any unwanted items which would assist us in creating a familiar, calming setting for our patients.”

For more information or to help, email or call 01923 436 027.