Dementia Action Week (13th-19th May 2024) is a national event each year raising awareness and taking action to improve the lives of people affected by dementia.

40% of people over 75 years of age accessing general services at our hospitals are likely to be living with dementia. These patients are more likely to have a longer hospital stay, a higher chance of re-admission and the impact of being hospital can cause their physical, mental, and cognitive abilities to further deteriorate.

Here are some of the little things you've helped us fund to improve the hospital experience for patients with dementia.


Ward improvements to help patients with dementia

Improvements have been made to wards A522 and A524 in the Bristol Royal Infirmary to improve the experience of over 1,000 patients every year, reducing distress, episodes of aggression and violence, and falls risks.

By improving the ward environment, this should help optimise the patient’s independence and skills, reducing the risk of deconditioning and further deterioration in their cognition and functioning.

The improvements included:

·       Colour coding ward bays, improving signage, and providing specialist dementia clocks to aid orientation.

·       Seating areas will be improved to aid mobility and reduce falls

·       Artwork installed to create a warm and inviting space for patients.

·       Tables and chairs to facilitate patients dining experience and engagement activities.



In partnership with the charity Alive Activities, the dementia garden project has been extended for another 12 months.

Every week patients from the older care wards in the Bristol Royal Infirmary have the opportunity to take part in this fantastic project for some horticulture therapy in the Bristol Heart Intitute courtyard garden.

“Those who participated all verbally communicated that they had enjoyed their time with us and presented improvement, there were lots of smiles and sharing of stories and skills all round.”

One patient who has taken part has had a prolonged hospital stay and has been really looking forward to going back home. He said the gardening sessions have really helped him, from managing the small walk from the ward to the garden, to being able to create something in the garden project has boosted his confidence and it made him feel worthwhile.



Based on experience and research, activity engagement helps reduce the levels of stress and anxiety for patients experiencing dementia. 

Dementia activities have been funded across Bristol and Weston hospitals including reminiscence cards, age-appropriate puzzles, picture books to encourage memories, and aqua paints. Although aimed at those with dementia or other cognitive impairment, these will also be made available to any patients that would like to use them.




Four dementia reminder clocks have been funded for Ward A602 at the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI).

The clocks clearly state the day and whether it is morning, afternoon or evening, as patients with the condition can often be disorientated when waking up. They can also ‘prompt’ older people with dementia to do daily tasks, such as reminding them to drink water. In turn this will help the patients settle and reduce anxiety.

Senior Nursing Assistant Alison Finch who fundraised for the clocks said,

“The new clocks will be a great help with our dementia patients so they can be reminded of the day and time. They will be especially useful for those whose anxiety may be heightened due to being in a strange place with a lot of people they do not know.”




We are not only committed to improving the experience people have at our hospitals, but also the experience people have at our charity. This is why Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity has become a Dementia Friend.

Dementia Friends help by raising awareness and understanding, and help people living with dementia by taking actions - both big and small. Our charity staff have taken part in training to learn more about dementia so we can communicate more effectively and improve people’s experience with our charity, including supporting staff, volunteers, donors, fundraisers, customers at our fundraising hub, and patients.



To read more about the great things you've helped fund, read our Impact Report here.