Dementia patients enjoy a summer beach party

Patients on St Andrew's Healthcare's Compton Ward – one of our wards for adults with progressive neurological conditions – recently attended a special summer beach party held in the ward garden.

The patients enjoyed a sunny afternoon of live music, beach games, singing and dancing, whilst enjoying a picnic-style lunch provided from the catering department, before enjoying ice creams and other goodies. The Compton garden was decorated with beach towels, buckets and spades, and staff and patients took the opportunity to dress up in colourful Hawaiian flower necklaces and pirate hats.

Sophie Canning, Occupational Therapy Technical Instructor for the ward, explained: “The party went fantastically well! I had been worried all week about the weather as it had been cloudy and gloomy all week, however come party day, the sun came out and it was beautiful.

"I always get anxious about everything coming together when I plan a big ward party, however everything fell into place and the patients, and staff, had a great time. Not all of the patients came out in the garden for the party but staff were fantastic and enabled everyone to get involved in their own little way, whether it was choosing their ice cream flavour, playing games, dressing up or singing and dancing to the live music.”

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At St Andrew’s, we care for around 50 people with complex dementia at our Northampton site. Our patients are with us because they are presenting challenging behaviour, cognitive decline and limited or inappropriate social interaction. In addition, many patients have added physical and mental health needs that require management. We provide safe, stimulating and highly specialised care to help support these patients and manage their conditions.

We are committed to understanding each individual’s needs in order to provide them with the best possible care, personalised to them. Within our Neuropsychiatry pathway, we provide a variety of specialist therapies which help our dementia patients to enjoy life, while managing their symptoms.

We encourage the use of positive strategies, and try to engage patients in morale-boosting activities and positive discussions. We also use a variety of technology to comfort, challenge and relax our patients – in fact, a recent visit from the Care Quality Commission led inspectors to describe us as ‘Outstanding’ in this area.

Read more: Click here to find out more about our Neuropsychiatry Pathway

The Alzheimer’s Society has published a wealth of information regarding the types of dementiasupport available and advice on how to support and care for someone with dementia.

To join the Twitter conversation around World Alzheimer’s Month, use the #WorldAlzMonth hashtag.