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The seaside comes to Glasgow Royal Infirmary’s Dementia Cafe

Friday, July 19, 2019

Buckets and spades, seashells, and an ice cream van dishing out 99s all made their way from the seaside to Glasgow Royal Infirmary yesterday.

The hospital’s Dementia Café embraced a seaside theme to evoke wonderful memories and meaningful conversation around past experiences.

Patients experienced sensory stimulation through sand trays with hidden seashells, the sound of waves and sea birds. The highlight of the day was a visit from the local ice cream van and ‘the chippy’ to bring back memories of a day trip to the seaside.

Patricia Myers, North Sector lead nurse for older peoples’ services, said: “Patients, their families and staff had a great time bringing up old memories and creating new talking points at the Dementia Café.

“It was set up two years ago with the aim of providing cognitive stimulation to patients using reminiscence therapy and multisensory stimulation combined with meaningful activities. We also work with patient families and provide carer support from Alzheimer’s Scotland.

“The café provides a safe environment away from the ward where patients, relatives and carers can enjoy stimulating activities and social interaction.

“We run the café monthly with each one having its own distinct theme which bring back different memories. This brings about a number of positive impacts for patients and relatives. These themes work by preventing boredom and isolation while aiding relaxation and reducing distress.

“Patients tell us they really enjoy the café, that it’s a great idea and takes their mind off the condition for a while. Relatives also feel the benefits with comments such as ‘you have given me back my mum’, ‘my dad is brighter’, and ‘my dad was still singing long after the cafe ended’.”

Our Volunteer Service helps to organise and run the café.

The next café will be held on 28 August.

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