We recognise that coming into hospital is a distressing experience, which is why we are committed to providing safe , personalised care for our patients living with dementia and value family member’s, cares or friends as partners in their care.
How we help
The Royal Sussex County Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital both have specialised dementia units with an integrated pathway from the acute floor. The Units care for people living with complex needs around either their dementia or their delirium and staff working on the units have received additional care in supporting these patients.
Alongside this the dementia units are supported by the Dementia team, older person’s psychiatrist and the multi-disciplinary team in an environment which is calm and supportive of the different and often complex needs of people living with dementia.
We encourage family, friends and carers to be valued member of the units and have an open visiting policy in conjunction with John’s campaign.
All wards are signed up to John’s campaign and the cares policy and we value carers input and expertise, whilst acknowledging that each carer will have their own individual requests and needs. If you are a career of someone in our hospital, please ask for the carer’s passport and discuss with the nurse in charge how we can help. Please visit John’s Campaign for more information.
This is me
The ‘This is me’ document is a way of giving us information about a person with dementia that may not be able to tell us. It enables us to gain a better understanding of your likes and dislikes and most importantly the things that matter to you or someone you knew.
If you are able to please could you fill this in and bring it in to hospital.
‘This is me’ should be completed by the individual(s) who know the person best and, wherever possible, with the person involved. It should be updated as necessary. It is not a medical document.
Guidance notes to help you complete ‘This is me’
- Name I like to be called
- Enter your full name on the front and the name you like to be called inside.
- Where I live
- The area (not the address) where you live and how long you have lived there.
- Carer/the person who knows me best
- This may be a spouse, relative, friend or carer.
- I would like you to know
- Include anything you feel is important and will help staff to get to know and care for you, eg I have dementia, I have never been in hospital before, I prefer female carers, I am left-handed, I am allergic to…, other languages I can speak.
- My background, family and friends (home, pets and any treasured possessions)
- Include place of birth, education, marital status, children, grandchildren, friends and pets. Add religious or cultural considerations.
- Current and past interests, jobs and places I have lived and visited
- Include career history, voluntary experience, clubs and memberships, hobbies, sports or cultural interests, favourite or significant places.
- The following routines are important to me
- What time do you usually get up/go to bed?
- Do you have a regular nap or enjoy a snack or walk at a particular time in the day?
- Do you have a hot drink before bed, carry out personal care activities in a particular order or like to watch the evening news?
- What time do you prefer to have breakfast, lunch, evening meal?
- Things that may worry or upset me
- Include anything you may find troubling, eg family concerns, being apart from a loved one, or physical needs such as being in pain, constipated, thirsty or hungry. List environmental factors that may also make you feel anxious, eg open doors, loud voices or the dark.
- What makes me feel better if I am anxious or upset
- Include things that may help if you become unhappy or distressed, eg comforting words, music or TV. Do you like company and someone sitting and talking with you or do you prefer quiet time alone?
- My hearing and eyesight
- Can you hear well or do you need a hearing aid? How is it best to approach you? Is the use of touch appropriate? Do you wear glasses or need any other vision aids?
- How we can communicate
- How do you usually communicate, eg verbally, using gestures, pointing or a mixture of both? Is the use of touch appropriate? Can you read and write and does writing things down help? How do you indicate pain, discomfort, thirst or hunger? Include anything that may help staff identify your needs.
- My mobility
- Are you fully mobile or do you need help? Do you need a walking aid? Is your mobility affected by surfaces? Can you use stairs?
- Can you stand unaided from a sitting position? Do you need handrails?
- Do you need a special chair or cushion, or do your feet need raising to make you comfortable?
- What physical activity do you take?
- My sleep
- Include usual sleep patterns and bedtime routine. Do you like a light left on or do you find it difficult to find the toilet at night? Do you have a preferred position in bed, special mattress or pillow?
- My personal care
- List your usual practices, preferences and level of assistance required in the bath, shower or other.
- Do you prefer a male or female carer?
- Do you have preferences for brands of soaps, cosmetics, toiletries, continence aids, shaving or teeth cleaning products and dentures?
- Do you have particular care or styling requirements for your hair?
- How I take my medication
- Do you need help to take medication? Do you prefer to take liquid medication?
- My eating and drinking
- Do you prefer tea or coffee?
- Do you need help to eat or drink?
- Can you use cutlery or do you prefer finger foods?
- Do you need adapted aids such as cutlery or crockery to eat and drink?
- Does food need to be cut into pieces?
- Do you wear dentures to eat or do you have swallowing difficulties?
- What texture of food is required to help – soft or liquidised? Do you require thickened fluids? List any special dietary requirements or preferences including being vegetarian, and religious or cultural needs.
- Include information about your appetite and whether you need help to choose food from a menu.
- Other notes about me
- Include additional details about you that are not listed above and help to show who you are, eg favourite TV programmes or places, favourite meals or food you dislike, significant events in your past, expectations and aspirations you have.
- Indicate any advance plans that you have made, including the person you have appointed as your attorney, and where health and social care professionals can find this information.
Being in hospital
We encourage our patients with dementia or cognitive impairment to be up and dressed where able. Please bring in suitable nightclothes, footwear or comfortable clothes.
Nutrition and hydration.
A finger food menu is available on all of our ward areas and if you feel this would be of benefit please ask a member of staff for details. Menus are available on all wards please direct staff to food that you think a loved one may like.
The forget-me-not scheme
Forget-me-not is to help identify patients that may need a little more assistance whilst in our care. It may be the way we need to communicate in giving a patient time to process a question and answer to a more difficult problem such a as distress.
If you have been identified as having a cognitive impairment (trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions), then we ensure that you have a blue forget-me-not above their bed.
A purple forget me not is for patients that have a cognitive impairment (trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions) as well as some high intensity needs, such as distress. Poor oral intake or other reasons that may mean they require a higher level of care.
The dementia team are available to support patients that may become distressed due to their hospital admission or require specialist dementia nurse support. The team also support with complex discharge planning and supporting carers.
If you feel that a referral to the dementia team would be of benefit please either ask the nurse in charge of the ward or contact the team.:
Where we are
Royal Sussex County Hospital 01273 696955 Ext. 67935 or 64244
Princess Royal Hospital 01444 441881
How to refer
If you or someone you know is worried about becoming increasingly forgetful, particularly If they’re over 65, you should talk to your GP about the possibility of dementia.