Saturday, 7 February 2015

Grimsby area hotel one of the first to be dementia-friendly


  • Staff from the Alzheimer's Society discuss how they can improve the hotel for visitors with dementia.
  • AWARE: Julie Harrison, dementia action alliance co-ordinator for North East Lincs Alzheimer's Society, right, gives advice to Amanda Penistone, reception manager, and Andrew Smith, general manager at The Ashbourne Hotel. Pictures: Jon Corken

A POPULAR hotel has taken steps to become dementia-friendly – and is one of the first of its kind in the region to do so.
The Ashbourne Hotel in North Killingholme is in the process of altering its interior to create dementia-friendly rooms.
Alterations to the colour of towels, the layout of rooms and new signage are all in the process of being installed to create a more comfortable environment for sufferers of the condition.
Representatives from the Alzheimer's Society paid a visit to the venue to educate members of staff and raise awareness.

Reception manager Amanda Penistone said she decided to push forward the project after reading an article in the Grimsby Telegraph.

"I saw an article in the paper which explained that Freshney Place was becoming more dementia-friendly and I thought that was something that we could do," she said.
"We're in the process of having some our signage changed because we decided that it could be confusing to sufferers of dementia.
"We're also changing the colour of some of our towels to a turquoise colour, because white towels in a white bedroom are sometimes not easily seen by someone with dementia."
She added: "I decided to get in contact with the Alzheimer's Society and they came down here to explain to us how we could improve and all of our staff have been keen to learn about it."
Julie Harrison, North East Lincolnshire co-ordinator at the Alzheimer's Society, said more hotels and other customer service-based businesses could do more to become dementia-friendly.
"The Ashbourne Hotel is one of the first hotels in the area to work towards being dementia-friendly and I think more should follow because a lot of older people stay in hotels," she said.
"Hotels can be confusing for all of us when there are no instructions on how to work the shower or the television and sometimes it is just assumed that guests understand how to use them."
She added: "Just little things like putting up signage with the name of the hotel and installing special clocks which also tell the date as well as the time can make a big difference for someone with dementia.
"We all know that the UK has an ageing population so the number of people with the disease who need our help is going to increase."
Staff at The Ashbourne Hotel are working towards becoming dementia friends – an initiative launched by the Alzheimer's Society which is aiming to make one million people in the UK more aware of the disease.
There are around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK – 40,000 of whom are younger people.
Turn to page 26 for a preview of The Journal Wedding Fayre at the Ashbourne Hotel.

Information pack for diagnosis of dementia

The other day I found this old 2006 blog about the information pack we were given, after my diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia in County Durham...