Revamp for dementia

Published: 31 Oct 2013 08:00

WORK is under way to create a specialist dementia-friendly ward which will include the country’s first in-hospital cinema.


A CGI image of what the ward will look like

Rowan Ward at Prospect Park Hospital has been stripped and work has started to transform the unit specifically for the use of elderly patients and their families.

New, soft flooring will be installed to minimise the risk of falling, with circular handrails for patients with Parkinson’s disease or arthritis, while ambient LED lighting and colour-coded areas for males and females will help patients move around independently.

But the new six-seater cinema, complete with popcorn maker, is the most groundbreaking part of the scheme, allowing patients and their families to spend quality time together and even watch old home movies.

Lynne Renals-O’Kane, senior nurse in charge of older adults and rehabilitation, said: “Patients and their families can watch home movies, which will allow them to share those positive memories together which is part of improving individual care.

“Families are experts on their relatives and we would be missing a trick if we don’t involve them in their care so we can get it right.”

The work is part of a £1m facelift for the hospital’s Rowan and Oakwood Wards, which is being funded by a grant from the Department of Health (DoH) to create dementia friendly environments.

Lynne said work is expected to be completed by Christmas with the ward opening in the new year, and added: “We are all really excited and can’t wait to get in there. We are thrilled it’s happening so quickly.”