News A Familiar Place: creating a Reminiscence Room at the Horton General Hospital Caring for patients with dementia within a hospital environment can be challenging. The unfamiliar surroundings can cause confusion or agitation to patients, increasing the risk of further injury and making treatment more difficult to administer. Creating a dedicated reminiscence room offers patients living with dementia a social space that is welcoming – and somewhere where they can find comfort and nostalgia too. Adam Newberry, from the Occupational Therapy Team, told us: ‘One of things with patients who have dementia is that when they are in an unfamiliar environment, they become agitated because they don’t know where they are. So, if the room has a dementia bus stop for example, they won’t sit there thinking they will see a bus, they will sit down and relax because it’s familiar to them.’ A Horton Hospital Bus Stop sign will be wall-mounted inside the doorway of the reminiscence room so that it can be seen from the corridor, encouraging wandering patients to stop in a ‘familiar place’. The bus stop sign was kindly donated by Stagecoach Oxfordshire, who pledged a fantastic £10,000 towards the redesign of the reminiscence room. Banbury Charities have also provided a generous grant of over £5,000 towards the refurbishment, and we are incredibly grateful to both for their support. There will also be a wall mural of a poppy field and artwork from the local museum will show Banbury in older times. Staff will introduce the use of therapy dolls, designed for people with cognitive loss, and use a CD player so that patients can sing along with memorable tunes. ‘The reminiscence room will help to bridge the gap between acute medical care and the unique mental health needs of each patient – specifically those with dementia,’ said Polly Haynes, also from the Occupational Therapy Team. Julie Upward, Occupational Therapy team leader, pictured centre: ‘Staff can see that it’s a project that will not just benefit the patients but also themselves and their ability to manage patients. It’s going to be such a great resource in aiding the therapeutic process.’ Providing extra support for patients with dementia with projects like this across our hospitals is one of many ways your support makes such a difference in our hospitals. Thank you.