A special bus stop is providing dementia patients with a ‘safe place’ to sit while waiting in A&E, helping to keep them calm and stop them from wandering.
The idea for the replica bus stop came from Healthcare Support Worker, Di Swinburn, who works in the department at Lincoln County Hospital. She had heard about similar projects where bus stops were used in nursing homes and hospitals.
Di said: “Because of the population we serve, we have been seeing and treating more and more older patients, many living with dementia.
“This department is a hive of activity, whatever the time of day, and understandably it can be overwhelming for some of our patients. When dementia patients become confused and agitated they tend to wander and will often look for something which looks familiar. Research shows that a bus stop is just that.
“Many dementia patients reminisce and remember times gone by, perhaps when they used to use buses. Therefore it is a familiar memory and somewhere where they are happy to sit and wait.”
Following an appeal, Stagecoach East Midlands generously offered to supply a replica bus stop sign, timetable and a map.
Matt Cranwell, Managing Director, Stagecoach East Midlands, said: “We are delighted to be working with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, where we have been approached to provide even more replica bus stops to aid therapy for those people living with dementia.
“Initiatives such as this can make a real difference to people suffering with dementia and bring some comfort and purpose to those patients who visit the A&E department at Lincoln.
“We have a strong health and well-being ethic as a company and want to extend that into the communities that we serve, by showing our support and responding to these requests. We are very grateful to the hospital for getting in touch, so we could make this possible.”
A&E Sister, Elaine Turrell, added: “We cannot thank Stagecoach enough, they were simply amazing and came to our aid. Di has worked so hard on this and the brilliant news is that the bus stop is already being used by our patients and is really making a difference.
“It is a safe place for patients to sit and watch what is happening in the department. We have also ordered some new seating via our charitable funds which will finish off the area nicely.”
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