Dementia friendly hospitals

The NSW/ACT Dementia Training Centre is calling on people to register their interest for a free national education and consultancy project to make hospitals more dementia-friendly.

NSW/ACT DTSC director Professor Richard Fleming is leading a national education and consultancy program to improve hospitals for patients with dementia

An education and consultancy service to make hospitals more dementia-friendly is calling on people to register interest after receiving $200,000 in commonwealth funding to roll out the program nationally free of charge.

The NSW/ACT Dementia Training Study Centre (DTSC) at the University of Wollongong, which launched a national dementia design consultancy service for residential aged care facilities last year, is running the project.

The service is aimed at architects, hospital planners and managers planning new or refurbished hospital facilities. 

NSW/ACT DTSC director Professor Richard Fleming said it was encouraging to see the importance of the built environment being recognised.

“As a result of funding by the Australian Government, the NSW/ACT DTSC is able to offer this initiative at no cost to participants,” Professor Fleming said.

“There has been good quality research carried out on designing residential care environments for people with dementia, but the hospital environment has been largely neglected,” he said.

“This new project will enable us to apply the knowledge that we have and, hopefully, set the stage for future research into designing for the special needs of people with dementia undergoing the stresses of hospital admission.”

Professor Fleming will lead a team of five environmental design experts in providing two-day workshops on designing dementia-friendly hospitals in every state and consultancy on at least 25 hospital-based projects nationally by the end of the year. 

Benefits of a well-designed environment for older people with dementia include reduced confusion, agitation and depression, and increased social engagement, he said.

Dementia-friendly ward design can reduce the length of stay and improve outcomes for hospital patients with dementia, the recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report Dementia Care in Hospitals: Costs and Strategies found. 

The NSW/ACT DTSC’s existing national dementia design consultancy service for residential aged care facilities provides workshops and on-site education, assessment and advice to aged and health care managers and architects planning new or refurbished facilities for people with dementia. 

The service has more than 100 facilities registered to date, a spokesperson for the NSW/DTSC said.

The NSW/ACT DTSC is one of five DTSCs established by the Australian Government to improve education in dementia care.

The initial phase of NSW/ACT DTSC acute care dementia education and consultancy initiative is federally funded through to the end of 2013 but Prof Fleming said the centre would continue providing the consultancy service from 2014.

He urges people interested in attending the workshops, which start in August, to register their interest now by emailing dementia@uow.edu.au.

Click to view all current projects at the NSW/ACT DTSC.

Tags: acute-care, dementia-friendly-environments, dtsc, nsw-act-dtsc, richard-fleming,

1 thought on “Dementia friendly hospitals

  1. Hi I am interested in attending the workshop for dementia friendly within the hospital setting in Victoria.

    Regards Karen

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