I live with dementia. How can you make my stay in hospital better? (And shorter)

Get rid of the noise. The bleeping. The pinging. The clangs and the ringing.

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Allow night time to be night time, dark and quiet.

Make it more like my home.

Have sofas, armchairs, pictures…

Help me to walk when I want to.

Help me to have a dignified shower or bath of my choosing.

Help me to the toilet, not a commode. And don’t leave me there for half an hour.

Reduce the people confusion, the movement, the congestion, the huddling…

There are just so many of you.

And for god’s sake don’t talk across me. It makes me angry.

Enable me to know where I am, what time and day it is…

Help me eat when I want to, provide finger foods, delicacies, simple treats.

Just put them in front of me regularly. Don’t ask if I’m hungry because I’ll always say no.

Remember my taste isn’t very good now, so please don’t give me bland mush.

Provide coloured plates and bowls so I can see food, with high lips so I can get the stuff onto the spoon.

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Give me drinks in my favourite mug or cup.

And don’t just ask me if I want a drink. Give me one anyway.

Make sure I can hear and see.

Make the light brighter by day.

Do things with me, every day…singing, reminiscence, jigsaws, reading, music…

Use colour and decoration to make this place feel more like my home, calm, enjoyable.

Stimulate good feelings. I may not remember what you said or what we did.

But I will feel better for hours.

Touch me. Hold my hands. Put your hand on my arm.

 

Smile at me. Take time to smile, look at me, use my name.

Tell me who you are. Every time.

Wear scrubs at night. Then we’re all in nightclothes together.

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Explain what you are doing to me. Make sure I understand. Hold my hand. I may not like what you’re doing.

Talk to me about who I am. What I’ve done. My work, my hobbies, my wedding, my childhood.
See me. Not dementia. We are all different.

I’m not demented. I have a disease, and mine is different from everyone else’s.

So find out who I am.

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You see, I’m an expert on me.

2 thoughts on “I live with dementia. How can you make my stay in hospital better? (And shorter)

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