Sheffield Hospitals' Charity smashes its first £25k target to help dementia patients

A cash challenge set by Sheffield Hospitals Charity as part of a special dementia appeal has been smashed.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 2:03 pm
Helping hands.

The charity launched its Dementia Appeal last month, and thanks to great support from local people, a first target of £25,000 has been reached.

Funding from this appeal will help to make the experience of going into hospital a better one for patients with dementia.

A hospital ward, with its strange noises and bright lights can be really challenging for patients with dementia.

They can often struggle as they become confused about where they are.

Being away from their home, family and usual daily routine can cause them to feel stressed and anxious in any circumstances.

Money will be used to improve the hospital environment, to make it more homely with spaces that help patients feel less disorientated and more calm.

Staying physically and mentally active is also important, and funds raised so far will be used to give more patients the chance to take part in arts and crafts sessions.

Activities such as these help to stop their dementia symptoms getting worse and offer an opportunity to socialise.

Kathryn Stones is the arts activities officer who runs these sessions and she is able to interact with patients to see what impact they are having on people.

She said: “The patients engage really well with the arts and crafts sessions and they’re so important for patients with dementia.

“They not only stimulate people’s imagination and help to relieve boredom, but patients also tell us how the sessions have helped lift their mood and improve their general well-being.

“Patients often surprise themselves as to what they can create and it gives them such a sense of achievement.

“The difference I see in patients from when they arrive to the sessions and when they leave is remarkable.

“They are much more interactive with staff and other patients around them. It’s so nice to see them smile, chat together, and enjoy themselves.”

Dr Katherine Fox, from Brearley, added: “These sessions give patients something to go to that stimulates their brain.

“It helps get patients out of bed to a different area, a different environment, socialising with other patients and members of staff which has a positive impact on their mental health and well-being.

“The sessions encourage patients to become more involved and interact with the staff members which means they can get to know them on a more personal leve.

“This is exactly what the dementia appeal is all about – being able to care for each individual’s unique needs.”

Thanks to the £25,000 raised so far by people in Sheffield, additional arts and crafts sessions will begin to be organised so that even more local patients with dementia can benefit from them.

Over the next year the appeal aims to raise £200,000 in total to start making other changes that will benefit patients with dementia so they can return home feeling as fit and healthy as possible.

More information about how you can support the appeal by fundraising or making a donation is available at sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/dementia.

Sheffield Hospitals Charity helps patients being treated for almost every condition across all the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals sites.

Over £2 million a year is invested in state of the art equipment, pioneering research, patient and family support, buildings and people.