Striving to improve and enhance dementia patients’ care as much as possible, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board have been utilising an exciting, innovative tool – the Read About Me booklet, which was devised and introduced in 2017 by the health board’s Dementia Champions.
It’s a person-centred resource that will ensure continuity of care for people with a dementia or cognitive impairment throughout their journey. Carers of patients living with dementia are able to fill the booklet out with key information about those in their care, such as their favourite food, their hobbies and interests, things that make them anxious, and their daily routine.
This way, patients can take this information with them wherever their journey takes them during their stay in hospital, allowing all staff with whom they come into contact to have an understanding of the patient and their loved ones won’t have to keep repeating their personal story.
Liz Vaughan, the Ward Sister on the University Hospital of Wales’ Medicine for Older People Ward, C7, said, ‘Since their introduction last autumn, the Read About Me booklets have made a significant contribution to the way in which staff on this ward have been able to interact with their patients.
‘As the general demographic of our patients is elderly and frail individuals we see a high proportion with elements of cognitive impairment and dementia, ranging from very mild and pleasant confusion, to the severe and challenging behaviours.
‘Using the Read About Me scheme, which is often completed on behalf of the patient by a relative or carer, the information helps us to care for patients and meet needs that they may not be able to communicate.’