This is me – supporting patients with dementia
Someone who has dementia, delirium or other communication difficulties, can find changes, such as moving to an unfamiliar place or meeting new people who contribute to their care, unsettling or distressing.
The “This is me” document provides information about the person at the time the document is completed. It can help our staff build a better understanding of who the person really is. It is especially important at the moment with the current restrictions on visiting.
If you have a relative with dementia in hospital, please do complete the form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. It should be completed by the individual(s) who know the person best and, wherever possible, with the person involved. If you have any questions, please do contact the Dementia team on 01634 830000 ext 3208. You can complete the form online here or download a copy to print.
The Butterfly Scheme is an opt-in programme which enables staff to respond to those with dementia in a person centered and dignified approach, in the form of a discreet butterfly close to the person to highlight they may have additional needs in order to promote independence and where possible a stress free setting. A blue butterfly sticker is also put onto patient notes and procedure forms to indicate the person may become upset and anxious in unfamiliar areas.
Elsewhere, our Dementia Buddy scheme enables specialist volunteers to spend time with those who have dementia for company, support and often help with nutritional requirements at meal times during the day.
Additional support includes providing a ‘This is Me’ document that carers and loved ones can help complete, to focus on the person as an individual and indicate topics such as name preferences, likes/dislikes, and what the person enjoys doing. The document includes provides a personal background which we feel at Medway is vitally important in order to provide individualised care to the person with dementia.
Additionally, we have activity blankets, twiddle muffs and other knitted items created lovingly by volunteers to bring comfort and what can be a welcome distraction to those who are feeling anxious. In some areas RITA systems are available which provide entertainment such as music, films and games, improving the quality of life to those receiving hospital care.
Medway Hospital recognises the importance of a high standard of nutritional support and for those with dementia we can provide red topped jugs, red meal trays and red easy to grip cutlery to identify that they may need assistance at meal times. We can also provide finger foods from our canteen to encourage those with dementia to eat little and often if they do not regularly eat large meals throughout the day.