Musicians wanted to perform in GWH's new dementia friendly ward

Posted: January 21, 2015

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is inviting local musicians to entertain the patients on its new dementia friendly ward Jupiter. 

It is hoped that the live performances in the ward will be of massive enjoyment to the patients being treated there, many of whom will be suffering with dementia. 

Wendy Johnson, Divisional Matron for Care of the Older Person and the Matron lead for Dementia, said: "It is well known that music has both a physical and psychological therapeutic effect. 

"As an acute care environment we are always looking for ways in which we can make the in-patient experience more interesting and enjoyable. This is one way to achieve that." 

Listening to live music can calm patients and research has also shown that dementia patients, who are at ease, will be more likely to eat their meals, sleep better at night and have an improved immune system, all of which can lead to a speedier recovery. 

Last year Jupiter Ward was completely refurbished as part of a £98,000 project, funded by Trust charity Brighter Futures, which saw it transformed into a state-of-the-art dementia friendly environment. 

Jupiter now has a non-shiny matt floor which will help dementia patients from falling as they can often confuse shiny surfaces with pools of water. 

Other changes include installing special clocks which say whether it is day or night, fitting nursing stations inside each bay so that staff can reach patients quicker and using coloured plates at meal times, as dementia patients can often overlook pale food such as potatoes and bread on white plates. 

Any musicians who can play a one or two hour set of easy listening music, which would appeal to the older generation, should contact Wendy Johnson on 01793 607333 or  wendy.johnson@gwh.nhs.uk for more information.

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