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Connect with Dementia Volunteers Introduced
21 December 2016

Connect with Dementia Volunteers Introduced

Our Voluntary and Community Development Team are excited to launch their first group of Connect with Dementia Volunteers on Viking Ward at Crawley Hospital and at Zachary Merton Hospital in Rustington.

Up to 40% of all our patients on our inpatient wards may live with dementia. Volunteers are ideally placed to try and support them. By offering their time to help people get involved in social activities, chat and most importantly, provide company, it can reduce some of the boredom that can be experienced in hospital and improves patient experience.

Alongside our Dementia Lead, Lucy Frost, Occupational Therapy Lead Lucy Hague, Sue Hart Ward Manager at Viking Ward and Jane Sinclair, Senior Sister at Zachary Merton Hospital, our Volunteer Team have trained 20 young students’ about communicating with people who have dementia including reminiscence technology training, which is invaluable for our patients and provides interactive games, music, film, quizzes and puzzles - all designed for people who may have a memory impairment. The system has already proved popular with our patients and staff alike. 

Ben and Ellis, two of our Connect with Dementia Volunteers said:

“It’s great to be able to help people with degenerative illnesses and to make a difference to their lives. It’s also helping to equip me with skills that I need for my future career”, said Ben.

Ellis said “I’m looking forward to giving something back to the community and to improving the quality of older people’s lives. The training I received was both useful and interesting and I would encourage other young people to commit to this type of volunteering to contribute towards making a positive impact to our community”.

Brenda Henson and Nicky Silk, Volunteer Managers covering West Sussex are very positive about the impact this youth social action will bring, not only by offering additional support and time to patients but it also gives young people increased understanding of the healthcare system, increased community involvement, development of skills and an increased sense of wellbeing.

See our pledge on the #iWill Campaign http://www.iwill.org.uk

It helps to raise awareness of dementia among young people. We hope it will help people to think differently and reduce the stigma people often associate with dementia.

Please contact our Volunteers Team on 01273 242191 for more information.

With grateful thanks to the League of Friends of Crawley Hospital and Zachary Merton Community Hospital for their recent purchases of equipment to help communicate and engage with patients living with dementia, who have a hospitals stay at one of our wards at both hospitals.