OVER 250 health and social care workers from across Wales recently came together to increase their awareness of dementia at a special event at Withybush Hospital.

The annual Withybush Hospital Dementia Conference, the biggest of its kind in Wales, provided an opportunity for those involved in the care of dementia patients to increase their knowledge of specific care requirements, share best practice and learn about new therapies in dementia care.

Presentations were made by health board staff, as well as local authority partners and voluntary agencies, covering a variety of topics, from managing pain and nutrition in dementia care to the use of art therapy, pet therapy and reminiscence therapy.

Staff and partner organisations held awareness stands to provide information for both staff and visitors, with an interactive display, featuring staff demonstrating how good dementia care should look, proving to be one of the most popular exhibits.

The engaging example of dementia care depicted familiar and personal items from a patient’s past to bring about a sense of contentment and also illustrated how the patient, if well enough, should be dressed in their own clothes and out of bed, allowing the patient to  maintain their dignity and to help them recover quicker.

Organiser, Sister Lisa Marshall from Ward 12, Withybush Hospital, explained to delegates, that the use of a combination of techniques such as reminiscence therapy, can offer grounding and inner peace for people with dementia.

Sister Marshall said: “I’m really proud to be putting this on today and I am so grateful to all who have supported this conference to make it a success.

“It’s about people with dementia and how we manage, and how people in the community manage.

“We hope to spread our knowledge and cascade our experience and skills onto others.”

Withybush Hospital Manager, John Evans added: “We’re delighted to welcome such a varied audience at the conference today.

“What this conference celebrates is what we can for our patients, and understanding such an important issue.

“I’m so proud of our team for delivering such a fantastic conference that is so important to many people.

“I’d like to thank all our partners who held stands at the conference and the local businesses who supported the event.”

The conference was held at a critical time for dementia care in the Hywel Dda area, with the number of people in Wales developing the condition set to rise dramatically over the next decade.

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