This week marks Dementia Awareness Week (14th-20th May) and thanks to its supporters, Nottingham Hospitals Charity has been able to give more than £800,000 to help patients with dementia at Nottingham’s hospitals.
Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest health issue and with figures rising as Nottingham’s population ages, it is important to bring the issue to light. Symptoms include memory loss and difficulty with thought processes, concentration and language.
This week Nottingham Hospitals Charity is celebrating its latest project to help dementia patients. A music therapy service the Charity has funded, run by Wellspring, brings in two professional musicians to play for dementia patients on a Nottingham ward.
James Tollhurst and Marc Block of Wellspring Music CIC pay weekly visits to specialist dementia ward B47 at the Queen’s Medical Centre, where they provide soothing and therapeutic music for patients as part of a project which received more than £7,000 from the Charity.
Marc, a former nurse, says: “There is increasing evidence that music lives in a deep and primitive part of the brain, so it cuts through a lot of what is lost with dementia, and connects to a person’s innate self. It is a great way of communicating with people who have lost other forms of communication.”
Nottingham Hospitals Charity has also funded a variety of other projects for the benefit of patients with dementia at NUH including:
- £400,000 for specialist advanced Nurse Practitioners to support older patients, including many with dementia.
- £120,000 for the development of the IDEA (Improving Dementia Education and Awareness) website – a free website which provides information and resources for those caring for people with dementia, including healthcare professionals and family carers.
- £100,000 for a PhD research fellow to conduct a study into dementia care, looking at how volunteers work with patients with dementia and how this might be built on to improve their care and wellbeing.
- £43,000 for the Playlist for Life project, which includes grants for iPods and music to help conjure memories for patients with dementia, improving their mood, awareness, sense of identity and independence, whilst at the same time reducing anxiety and distress.
- £7,000 for activity boxes to provide diversional activities for patients and to help stop the risk of falls due to patients wandering from their beds.
Barbara Cathcart, Chief Executive of Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “We all know that dementia’s devastating effects are being felt by a growing number of the population, which is why we as a Charity have decided to focus our efforts on supporting a wide variety of projects that help these vulnerable patients, their families and carers.
“Thanks to the support of our donors and fundraisers we are pleased that we are able to make a positive contribution to the emotional, mental and physical wellbeing of this important group of patients.”
As part of Dementia Awareness Week Nottingham’s University Hospitals NHS Trust is promoting a series of initiatives aimed at raising awareness of dementia.
For more information about Nottingham Hospitals Charity, to make a donation or to get involved in fundraising, please visit www.nottinghamhospitalscharity.org.uk or call us on 0115 962 7905.