23 October, 2014
In recent years Ipswich hospital has been at the forefront of a national initiative to use innovative design to create a more ‘dementia friendly’ environment in dementia wards.
Wards have been redesigned with a view to enable patients rather than disable, encouraging patients to act independently during their time on the ward. Through open plan design, patients can initiate interaction with other patients, visitors and staff. With the use of colour coded areas and clear signage, patients are able to get around the ward without help, enabling the patient.
As well as encouraging patient independence through design, other ideas have been put into action to implement structure and familiarity to a patient’s day. Mealtimes begin by laying a red table cloth on a patients bedside table, cutlery is supplied and patients are asked to ‘lay their table’, promoting a psychological prompt indicating it is meal time and the familiarity of laying the table.
A patient’s familiarity with the structure of their day is an important factor in keeping them comfortable, as are of course are their surroundings. The ‘Memory walk’ first and foremost is a collection of photos of local areas from the past and present that patients may recognise enabling reminiscence and creating opportunities for conversations with staff and visitors.
The ‘Memory walk’ is enjoyed by the patient’s but just as much so by staff and visitors of the hospital. Historical pictures of places not only known but frequented by the audience are a great means to encourage conversation and bring people together with a common interest, in this case their home town.
The series of photographs dating back from c.1895 up to the present day was collated by David Kindred, local photographer and author of vintage photograph collections.
At Acrylic Image we have seen an increase of interest in acrylic prints for use in hospitals. The contemporary aesthetics and hardwearing properties make them a popular choice for displaying photography, art and signage in public spaces but for hospitals another important decision factor is the ease in which they can be cleaned. The surface of an acrylic print can simply be wiped clean making them very suitable for areas where cleanliness and hygiene is important.
We don’t always get the chance to see our acrylic prints hung on the wall so it was a pleasure to be invited to the hospital to take a look at the ‘Memory walk’ and meet with Julie Sadler, Senior Nurse Dementia Care who lead the redesign of the Saxmundham Ward, David Kindred the collator of the collection and Nick Hulme, CEO Ipswich Hospital. We enjoyed discussing the fascinating images from the towns past.
Some photographs collated by David Kindred of Kindred Spirit for the ‘Memory walk’ collection, Saxmundham Ward, Ipswich Hospital.
Broom Hill Lido, 1964
The zoo arriving in town via the railway, 1955
Coronation Street party, Beaconsfield Road, 1937
Ipswich Town FC, Portman Road, 1950
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