Hospitals with Vintage Makeover to help dementia patients

Photographs and films, ration books and a 1950s televisions have been used to transform wards across the UK into reassuringly familiar settings – including 1950s tearooms and seaside beach huts.

NHS England believes the “dementia-friendly adaptations” will help patients who struggle to adjust to their surroundings.

It is hoped these items from bygone eras may help trigger patients’ memories. If patients are engaged in meaningful activity and given mental stimulation, then they sleep better, feel less agitated, are less likely to get up in the night and less likely to fall.

Having a dementia-friendly place to stay may help these patients adjust better to their surroundings and reduce their reliance on medicine.

Hospitals taking part in the project

  • London’s Royal Free Hospital
  • West Yorkshire’s Airedale Hospital
  • Hull Royal Infirmary
  • Royal Preston Hospital
  • Wirrals Arrowe Park hospital
  • Grantham Hospital’s Manthorpe Centre:
  • Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate:

Themes include:

  • A cinema room where patients can watch footage of old street scenes and sporting events from the 1950s and 1960s.
  • 1940s style reminiscence room, featuring pictures of ration books and old photographs
  • A ‘memories pub’ complete with replica beer taps and vintage posters.
  • Dementia wards, corridors and day rooms kitted out in a vintage seaside theme with beach huts signposting patient bays and a retro boardwalk mural.
  • A 1950s-themed “memory room” where patients can relax among period furniture, artwork and a replica 1950s television.
  • A day room, where patients can do a jigsaw or listen to the hospital choir sing music from the 1940s and 50s, with a retro television cabinet and vintage-style furniture.

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