The Service User Review Panel from Gwent and their carers, who are supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, headed to the hospice last month, where they met with both clinical and non-clinical staff.
Following a tour of the hospice there was a Q & A session where visitors answered questions from staff about supporting people with dementia.
The group fed back that white walls were too clinical, and colour would give the hospice a more homely feel. They loved the décor in the hospice’s day therapy unit, and said the vibrant colours were stimulating.
Discussions were also held around crockery for people living with dementia at meal times, signs around the hospice being visual as well as literal and flooring being less patterned in bathrooms.
The group talked about what would make someone living with dementia – and their carer – feel the hospice was safe and secure, and how they would want staff to discuss plans for future care.
Monica Reardon, who leads the Including Diverse Communities in End of Life Care project, is aiming to ensure the hospice secures Dementia Friendly status, and invited the group along to help put a plan of action together to achieve this. She said:
“It was important to us to work with this group in putting together our dementia friendly plan. So it is not that this is what we have read and this is what we think people would find challenging or difficult, but actually this is what people have told us. That involvement is really important to us.”
Linda Willis, Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador and member of the Service User Review Panel in Gwent, said:
“We like being involved and it means a lot to us to be asked for our opinions. People think they know what we are thinking, but it is not always what we are thinking, so it is great that we have been able to give advice to help the hospice work towards being dementia-friendly.”
Sue Phelps, Director of Alzheimer’s Society Cymru added:
“It is great that our Service User Review Panel were all invited to visit and have an input into the environment of the hospice to ensure that it is dementia-friendly. Our partnership with Marie Curie reflects the importance we place on recognising dementia as a terminal condition, and the need for compassionate, person-centred care and advanced care planning to best support the people affected.”
“We would also encourage staff to receive dementia-specific training to develop their understanding in order to effectively adapt care plans.”
For more information visit Marie Curie Cardiff and the Vale Hospice