A WARD that cares for older people with dementia now has a room for patients to enjoy activities that support their wellbeing.

Working with patients and families, staff from Ceddesfeld ward at Auckland Park Hospital, Bishop Auckland, created a sports themed room with table football, table tennis and basketball facilities.

The ward, operated by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, cares for older men experiencing mental health problems including conditions associated with memory loss and cognitive impairment.

Funded through donations, fundraising activities and TEWV’s volunteer service, the room enables people to take part in activities they may have enjoyed before going into hospital– providing both physical and mental stimulation.

Clinical lead Nicola Watson said: “Staying in hospital can be a difficult experience for anyone, but for those living with conditions like dementia it can be overwhelming. Due to the complexity of their illnesses, many people staying on the ward can exhibit behaviours that are seen as challenging which can be distressing to individuals and their families.

“At Ceddesfeld we take a person centred approach to care which considers people’s interests, likes and emotional needs. Following a recent quality improvement event ward staff looked at ways to increase the range of activities available to our patient group to reduce the likelihood of these behaviours occurring. The sports room provides a supportive physical environment where people can engage in activities that are meaningful to them, socialise and keep active, supporting them on their recovery journey.”

Gillian Boycott, head of mental health services for older people in County Durham, said: “This great initiative not only promotes exercise and movement but supports the mental wellbeing of people staying on the ward– giving the men a sense of enjoyment, healthy competition and achievement. It encourages people to explore different activities which can be pursued following discharge from hospital, helping individuals to stay socially connected and engaged.”