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Dementia Action Week 2021

This Dementia Action Week, we wanted to take a look at just a few of the ways BCHC Charity has supported dementia-friendly projects across the city, enhancing the experience for patients and their families accessing BCHC services. 

Activity Station Games

One of our first dementia-friendly initiatives was the introduction of Dementia Activity Stations on inpatient wards across the Trust. The stations comprise a large storage cupboard with clearly labelled drawers containing a range of games and activities to help relieve anxiety and encourage communication. We have also funded jigsaw puzzles ranging from 13 to 100 pieces, meaning that they are perfect for patients at any stage of their dementia journey, helping to stimulate, soothe and promote reminiscence.

Monthly musical reminiscence sessions funded by the charity at several venues across the Trust proved popular amongst patients and staff. Studies show that musical performance in a healthcare setting has therapeutic benefits, such as improving mood, reducing stress and anxiety, providing comfort and even improving memory. The Charity’s Fundraising Assistant, Stacey Taylor, went out to West Heath Hospital to see a musical performance by Music for Health & Wellbeing specialist Louise Braithwaite. “It was amazing to see Louise work”, she says. “There was a particular patient whose eyes lit up when Louise arrived. She recognised her from her previous visits, and asked a nurse to allow her to follow Louise down through the bays on Ward 12 to hear all of her performance. She was clearly much happier afterwards”. Although the pandemic has put a temporary stop on live entertainment, this is a scheme we would like to reinstate when it is safe to do so.

Get in Touch

If you have any queries about charitable funds or would like more information about supporting the charity or fundraising, please contact:

Charity Team Email: 
BCHC.charity@bhamcommunity.nhs.uk 
Tel: 0121 466 7314

Memory boxes
Olive Jenkins receives her memory box from Anna on Ward 6

Thanks to an idea from Ward 6 Nurse Anna O’Neill, BCHC Charity funded a scheme to offer dementia patients a Memory Box. Decorated by students at the University of Birmingham, the boxes provided a special, unique place for patients to store precious memories such as photographs, books and trinkets. Anna said, “Having a place for patients to keep things that are important to them can help reduce anxiety, especially when they are in the unfamiliar setting of a hospital ward. We encourage patients to look at the items when we see they are becoming distressed.” The items act as both a comfort and a distraction, helping to ease any stress caused by the unfamiliar surroundings.

On top of this, we’ve also funded items such as large calendar clocks to help patients become more orientated to the time and date, therapy dolls to provide comfort and companionship, and much more.

As a charity team we want to continue enhancing care for patients with dementia and welcome any new ideas from staff, as well as patients themselves and their carers. We also welcome individuals or companies that want to support dementia specific projects; please contact the Charity Team at bchc.charity@bhamcommunity.nhs.uk

Please note that the photographs featured were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Music WHH WH
Patients at West Heath Hospital Willow House enjoying a performance from Louise Braithwaite & Partners