Wigan and Leigh Hospice launches the Counting on Care appeal

09 October 2014

Wigan and Leigh Hospice is launching the Counting on Care appeal to create an inpatient unit for the future and make it dementia-friendly.

The Hospice is launching the appeal in order to both modernise the 17-year-old inpatient unit and in response to the growing number of patients and visitors who have dementia.

It is hoped the Counting on Care appeal will raise at least £60,000 for the Hospice which has been caring for local people for more than 30 years.

Hospice Chief Executive, Dr Alan Baron, said: "While our inpatient unit staff continue to provide excellent care the unit itself is 17 years old and is in need of modernisation.
"At the same time we are seeing a steadily increasing number of patients with both dementia and another life-limiting illness but at present the inpatient unit simply is not designed to cater for those kinds of needs.
"Adaptations need to be made which will help people with dementia orientate themselves to their surroundings and navigate their way around so that this is a therapeutic and restful environment for all our patients and visitors for many years to come."

Designs are being drawn up for a refurbishment with designs to make the inpatient unit a more comfortable and soothing place for patients and their visitors who suffer from dementia.

Patients with cognitive illnesses may become confused and unnerved in unfamiliar surroundings, and may find it difficult to navigate areas where there is a variety of visual stimulation, such as patterned wallpaper or lots of signage.

They may have difficulty seeing objects such as handrails or doors if these are the same colour as the background and avoid stepping on stripes in flooring as they may look like a change in level.

Before final designs are agreed on the Hospice will consult with members of the local community who have experience in assisting people with dementia. However, improvements are likely to include:

• New colour-coded areas and signage to aid navigation
• Redecoration of bedrooms and the corridor
• Improved lighting
• New flooring
• New artwork of local scenes to aid reminiscence and conversations

Supporters can help in a number of ways:

• Meet & Eat. We would love people in Wigan and Leigh - and our supporters no matter where they are around the world - to enjoy a pie and peas meal with friends and family and simply ask for a donation from each person in aid of our appeal. In fact, anything around the theme of pie and peas which raises funds would be fantastic. You can download a Fundraising Pack from our website www.wlh.org.uk.

• Join our weekly lottery. The lottery is hugely important as it gives us a regular income we can depend on. It costs just £1 a week to play and currently pays for almost 700 days of care on our inpatient unit. Join up online today at www.wlh.org.uk/lottery or call the fundraising team on 01942 525566.

• The Big Give. You can help us secure this funding by donating to the Hospice over three days in December when all donations will be doubled!

• Simply make a donation through our fundraising team. You may send a cheque to the Hospice or make a donation over the phone on 01942 525566. Please make sure to state your donation is for the Counting on Care appeal.

Clare Waller, Inpatient Unit Manager, said: "The inpatient until will look very different from what we have now but will provide a calm, comfortable place for all our patients and visitors for years to come. My team and I are looking forward to seeing the final designs."


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