Mock shop fronts help trigger memories in dementia patients at Ipswich Hospital

The shop shared by the Woodbridge and Washbrook wards. Pictured is (L – R) ward clerk Tracy Green, w

The shop shared by the Woodbridge and Washbrook wards. Pictured is (L R) ward clerk Tracy Green, ward sister Nicola Frost (seated), and ward clerk Paula Bryanton. Credit: Andy Abbott. - Credit: Andy Abbott

Patients living memory problems are being given extra help to reminisce thanks to two old-fashioned mock up shop fronts at Ipswich Hospital.

The sculptures display packages for family favourites donated by the Co-op, such as teabags, tapioca, cocoa and broken biscuits, all from days gone by.

The aim is to trigger memories and conversations in older patients with dementia, in turn helping them to feel safer and more comfortable during their hospital stay.

They are located in the Constable Suite and in a day room shared by the Woodbridge and Washbrook wards.

Julie Sadler, senior nurse for dementia care at the hospital, said: “Coming into hospital can be unsettling for people with dementia, which is why we try and find simple yet innovative ways to help them feel as safe and as comfortable as we can. The shop fronts are doing just that by providing something familiar which they can chat to their relatives or our staff about.

“The memories shared by these patients can also help us to understand the person and look beyond their diagnosis.”