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Dementia Friendly Hospital!


Registered User
Jul 24, 2014
In June this year my OH (with mild/moderate dementia) was diagnosed as requiring a hip replacement. My immediate concern was the need for a general anaesthetic but fortunately we were told that he could have a spinal anaesthetic and would be given a sedative so that he would not be awake during the procedure.

The date for the surgery was in August (only two months after our first appointment). We were given a book covering the whole procedure and also had to attend 'Joint School' to watch a presentation on what the process involved. My OH took one look at the book (which was very detailed) and gave it to me saying he couldn't understand it and the presentation also went completely above his head. I have to say that I was becoming increasingly concerned about the whole process but, obviously he needed to have the surgery. The pre-op assessment went reasonably well and the staff were so helpful. (I had written a note explaining the situation as OH is in complete denial of his dementia.)

On the morning of the op OH insisted on taking his wallet with him. This contained about £150 together with a bank card and his PIN! Despite my pleading and providing him with cash for any small purchases he would not part with the wallet. However during the booking-in procedure I explained the problem to a nurse and she managed to get him to part with the wallet and put it in a secure package for me to take home. (I later discovered that he had also packed his passport but managed to remove this without too much trouble as he seemed to have forgotten that!) Because of his dementia his op was scheduled for the first on the list which was a huge help as by this time his agitation and anxiety were growing by the minute. Both the Surgeon and the Anaesthetist made sure that he understood the procedure by speaking to him clearly and slowly. (It did make us laugh when OH was asked how old he was and he pointed to me and said 'she can answer that':))

My Admiral Nurse had put me in touch with the Dementia Matron at the hospital and I telephoned her and asked for help. She met me at the hospital and was so helpful. All the staff on the ward were informed and she helped to put in place plans for his discharge and I was given a 'This is ME' document to complete.

The nurses on the ward were informed of the problem with the wallet and supported me by telling him over and over again that he was not allowed to have valuables in the hospital. Following the surgery the OT and Physios treated him with dignity and understanding. They found that he could not manage a zimmer or crutches so provided him with a stick as they felt that it was more likely he would manage this and indeed he was hobbling around on the day after the op. As I was concerned about his discharge and felt he would not remember what he was not allowed to do or allow me to help, the Dementia Matron arranged for carers to come in each morning for the first three weeks. He also had to have anti-coagulant injections for 30 days after his discharge and a member of the DN team came in each day to administer these. The Dementia Matron also contacted Age Concern and I even had a call from them to ask if I needed any help with shopping, cooking or cleaning. This was followed up by a visit to discuss how they could help in the future. Finally I had a phone call from Crossroads to ask if I needed anybody to come and sit with OH whilst I went out.

With the help of both the carers and the nurses I was able to make OH understand the things he was not allowed to do. I have absolutely no doubt that, had they not been there, he would not have believed me quite possibly with disastrous consequences. He was initially a lot more confused than normal on discharge but, fortunately, this has now gone back to the same level as pre-admission. His physical recovery has also been amazing despite not doing the exercises that the hospital set (he would not listen to me when I offered to help read the instructions) and he is walking better than he has for a number of years.

I have never heard of a Dementia Matron before but I hope that many others in my position will have the help and advice that I received.


Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
Brixham Devon
Thank you for posting this positive Hospital experience. It warmed my heart and gave me hope that Dementia is being now viewed as a serious illness. I hope your OH continues with his recovery.

Take care

Lyn T XX


Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
What a supportive experience. Thank you for posting. I'm sure others, like me, will read this with hope should we ever be in your position. Best wishes to you both

Sent from my iPad using Talking Point


Registered User
Mar 24, 2014
Bay, this is marvellous. I never heard of a dementia matron, but when my husband was in for his hip fracture earlier this year, the people at my local saw he was in need of help and, at long last, I could secure, with their help, the care we'd been craving for years.

Isn't it great when there are people to help in a crisis. These good folk do exist, and it has also been my privilege to meet a few of them.

All the best to you both :)


Registered User
Jan 12, 2015
what a lovely post to read Bay. Restores sometimes dwindling faith in our health system


Registered User
Apr 30, 2013
Good news is always welcome on here. But when someone goes the extra mile, it is so heartwarming. :) Alas John's experiences in hospital were far from wonderful, but I am always pleased to learn of the positive experiences of others.