Between July 2020 to June 2021 there were 4,885 patients with dementia admitted to to the Older Persons Wards at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Thanks to your donations, we’re helping improve the hospital experience for thousands of older patients by improving the ward environment and providing dementia friendly activities.

A busy hospital environment can cause distress to older patients with dementia and by bringing the outside in, the staff hope to create calm surroundings where patients feel more relaxed.

This includes the installation of sky inside ceiling lights that can be programmed to show clouds moving in the sky or tree branches moving in the wind.

There will also be new artwork above beds, to create landmarks for patients with dementia to help them navigate the ward, murals of familiar Yorkshire locations in the corridors, and large day/night flip calendar clocks to help patients to orientate themselves in the date and time of year.

Activity materials have also been purchased to help provide stimulation and reduce distress for people living with dementia.

This includes individual activities like colouring books, puzzles, and jigsaws and group activities for patients, staff and relatives, like playing cards, dominoes and table tennis.

Ali Raycraft, Lead Nurse for Older People said:

“These changes to the ward environment will make a huge difference, particularly to our more vulnerable older people who have dementia. The wards will feel more welcoming and friendly, helping to reduce reduce stress, distress and agitation.

“Taking part in activities can help people to feel better and improve wellbeing, encourage much needed social stimulation, reduce boredom and help patients maintain their independence. This will also help reassure carers and family members who cannot always be on the ward with their loved ones.

“We aim to both provide activities that are familiar and already enjoyed by patients, and to also introduce them to new activities that they may want to continue when they are discharged.”