Going back in time to help dementia patients

A ward at Pilgrim hospital, Boston has found an innovative way to help dementia patients.

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A ward at Pilgrim hospital, Boston has found an innovative way to help dementia patients.

Ward 6B, an elderly care ward at Pilgrim hospital has started circulating the Pilgrim Newspaper which brings together news stories from across the decades as a way of supporting and comforting patients with dementia.

The newspaper, developed by Dementia Practitioner Jodie Barwick, gathers the historical events which will mean something to or are a defining point for patients. The newspaper then becomes a talking point and helps keep patients busy and comfortable whilst in hospital.

Jodie decided to create the newspaper when she saw national magazines of this kind which could be subscribed to at an additional cost. Creating the newspaper herself means that the stories can be more tailored to the patient and to local history.

Jodie said: “The newspaper is already proving to be really popular with patients and their families. We have patients wanting to take extra copies.

“I get a daily list of the patients admitted who are 75 and over. If I have around 30 patients to see on one day then on average around half of them will have a dementia. The newspaper is another way to help make patients living with dementia more comfortable whilst they are in hospital – it can be a scary place to be when you are not familiar with your surroundings or the people caring for you.

“It is really great to see how the patients have reacted to the newspaper and we hope to be able to make this available across all the wards at Pilgrim hospital.”