Butterfly tearoomsAn old fashioned tea room has been opened in Airedale Hospital to help patients with dementia.
The Butterfly Tea Rooms evokes fond memories of days gone by displaying specially commissioned wall art which looks like a tea room shop front, china cups and saucers and memorabilia, including a life-size red telephone box, 1930’s phone and music from the past.
The tea room on Ward 6 creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere on the ward and can bring back happy memories of family outings.
The tea room features a – to get people living with dementia talking about the memories they still retain, and to make them feel calmer.
Senior Ward sister Catherine Redman says the tea rooms are an important part of patient care.
“What we’ve found is that if patients are engaged in meaningful activity and given mental stimulation whilst in hospital then not only may they sleep better, but they can be less agitated, are less likely to get up in the night and less likely to fall,” she said.
“As well as the tearoom we offer daily activities:  yesterday they did colouring and painting, today they have played bingo, tomorrow they are planting sunflower seeds for the allotment area outside and they are having a World Cup Party for England on Sunday.  It’s all part of our work to provide the best possible 1:1 care and experience for patients in hospital with dementia.”
Marilyn Strawbridge, from Cullingworth, was one of the first visitors to the tea room with her husband Peter, who has been on the ward for two weeks.
Marilyn said:“It’s very good because the patients here don’t necessarily have visitors so they can gather round and talk or be with one another.”
This is just one of a number of ways the hospital is supporting the needs of patients living with dementia whilst they are in hospital.  The tearooms take their name from the ‘Butterfly Scheme’ which is a way of alerting staff to the individual needs of patients living with dementia.  The butterfly scheme ensures that those wishes and needs are heard and responded to by attaching, with a patient’s permission, a butterfly symbol to their bed. Patients then also have a butterfly care plan which includes recording their individual routines, preferences, likes and dislikes.
The hospital also has a Digital Reminiscence Therapy Unit, an all in one touchscreen unit which includes story books, news and games, all to help patients remember times from their past so staff and carers can talk about happy times and memories that have made up that person’s life, helping build a way to communicate and re-connect.

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