Sheffield charity funds vital tools to meet city’s growing dementia demand

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Musical memories, easy-read clocks and eye catching walking frames are amongst the vital aids paid for by Sheffield Hospitals Charity to enhance the care of people with dementia who are admitted to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

Clinical staff say dementia-friendly equipment like this is becoming increasingly important, with thousands more people being diagnosed with the condition every year.

Charitable funding has also been used to make improvements to ward environments, including appropriate lighting, colour coded bays, dementia friendly signage, dementia friendly taps and the enhancement of dayrooms for social events and dining.

Nigel Coulson, Matron for Geriatric and Stroke Medicine, said: “These aids have been found to make a huge difference to those suffering with dementia.

“Sheffield Hospital Charity funding has allowed us to make many improvements to our care environment which has directly influenced and improved the care that we provide for our patients. Without this funding, we would not have been able to make these dementia friendly changes to our wards.

“The dementia friendly clocks have worked really well, they show the time in an easy read analogue format and also show the day date and year. This helps our patients to orientate themselves to time and date, improving sleep patterns and reducing anxiety.

“Music is something that seems to really connect with people and brings back happy memories, promoting conversation and improving a patient’s mood.

“Stress balls have been given to patients recently. Though at first it may seem a strange idea, patients enjoy rolling them, squeezing them or throwing and catching them. They are a simple but useful item to engage patients in an activity and take their mind off their worries.

“Finally, empathy dolls are often popular with patients. There is a lot of science behind the use of empathy dolls and they are used in many hospitals. They bring back happy memories of parenthood and looking after the dolls really engages people and makes them less anxious” said Nigel.

To donate to dementia care, visit, email or call 0114 226 7351.