Tanya Wears, Head of Housekeeping at The Rowans Hospice, has been leading on the refurbishment of the rooms liaising with the ward nurses and Nurse Specialist and external interior design consultant. She explains, “By working with a range of dementia specialists, the team at the Hospice have developed an understanding of the specific requirements for these patients. We were delighted to receive grants from the Rank Foundation, the Hospital Saturday Fund and one other trust towards the costs of refurbishing the first two of the 19 rooms at the Hospice.
“The refurbishment included decoration in appropriate colours – purple and green have been selected as these are calming colours – and the en-suite bathrooms have been redesigned, replacing wall tiles that have been in existence since the hospice opened its doors. The lighting has been replaced allowing the room to have as much or as little light needed. Clear signage has been used within the rooms and doors are clearly marked with coloured borders so that they stand out. We have also replaced some of the clinical equipment in the rooms and have colourful bedding to make the rooms feel more homely.
“Both rooms including the en-suites had the flooring replaced – bedroom carpet flooring replaced with hard-wearing wood-effect flooring as this can be easily cleaned but also makes the rooms feel fresher. We had to be careful with the choice of colours, particularly with flooring as darker colours can be seen very differently for those with dementia – dark flooring resemble a hole for some and therefore would be trying to walk around it. They may also think that shiny floors are wet and speckled floors are dirty. All aspects of the rooms have been designed to minimise distress for the patients and provide them with a safe place where they can receive the care that they need. They have also been refurbished in a way that the rooms can be used by anyone who accesses the in-patient area. Any one of our patients, whether they have dementia or not, could use these rooms and those that have said how lovely and homely they feel.
“I am delighted with the finished rooms and hope that we will be fortunate enough to secure funding from other sources to refurbish all of the rooms at the Hospice in the near future.”
This is part of the Hospice’s wider plan to improve the environment for all patients who access the in-patient service. We have two lovely rooms and now would wish for other rooms to be refurbished. The hospice is also providing support for those people in the community with complex dementia who are nearing end of life, and their carers – this is through the appointment of a Dementia Nurse Specialist who works with patients and families in the community to ensure that their needs are met and advocates for them where appropriate. The new Living Well Centre, which is due to open in autumn 2016, has also been designed to support the needs of patients who are living with dementia. Each room cost just over £6,000 to refurbish although we would have loved to have done a little more such as replacing the reclining chairs and other seating in the room and replacing the TV. To find out more about supporting this project or funding the renovation of another room at the Hospice, please contact Jenny Redman, Director of Quality, via email email@example.com