Patients living with dementia and elderly people who are anxious or agitated can now make use of a “Comfort Box” that staff in Walsall Manor Hospital’s Outpatients Department have created with colleagues.
Working with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Older People’s Mental Health Liaison Team, staff have ensured that they are even more mindful towards the varying needs of patients and are able to provide a distraction.
The box contains reading materials from a bygone era, twiddle muffs – knitted hand warmers with varying textures and features such as buttons and ribbons that help patients to remain calm and reduce their levels of distress – woollen figures and playing cards.
Staff Nurse Rita Boaduo, who has been with the trust for three years, used the Comfort Box for the first time last week to help reassure a patient in her eighties.
“She was very anxious and worried about being here which is understandable and I was so glad to have the Comfort Box to hand as I could chat to her and help take her mind off things.
“It’s a nice touch for our patients and their carers and relatives also appreciate it because they’re so worried about their loved ones feeling so upset.”
Matron Claire Keeling added: “Input from the Older People’s Mental Health Team has been invaluable in helping us create this bespoke Comfort Box and we’re proud to say we’re a dementia friendly department. We are also able to plan ahead thanks to our outpatients’ information systems so that we know in advance when patients with dementia will be in clinic and staff can be even better prepared.”