Patients on Redlynch Ward sang to the tunes of Irving Berlin and enjoyed the splendour of a 50s style tea party complete with donated vintage china, as part of a new programme of activities to support older people in hospital.
Everything Stops for Tea is part of Elevate – a Stars Appeal, Arts Council England and Salisbury Hospital League of Friends funded project that provides more stimulation and activity for older people while in hospital.
Patients have already been enjoying singing, music, dance and story telling under the Elevate programme, helping to keep their minds active and provide a distraction from hospital life. Now the introduction of 50s style tea parties and activities linked to years gone by is proving particularly beneficial for patients with dementia and enjoyable for others who need some form of social stimulation while in hospital.
Maggie Cherry from Artcare said: “While it’s essential that we continue to provide the very best care and treatment that we can, we have found that with older patients, regular creative activities on wards can also improve their experience, help them get better sooner and reduce the need for some medication.“
“The introduction of vintage tea parties often occurs in residential homes. In our hospital it has really captured the imagination of our older patients and has already had a dramatic impact on them, providing a buzz of excitement from the moment the tea party team walk into the ward. Working with a live musician who can vary the speed and pitch of songs, helps older people find it easier to sing along and, led by a dancer dressed in 1950s attire, makes the whole occasion something special.”
So far the feedback has been excellent. One patient said: “This has taken me right back to the days in the war when the ladies used to come round and bring us tea.” Another said: “I like the cake. This has brightened up my day”.
There have been other benefits too. Not only can it help lift mood and provide creative stimulation, it can also help with patients’ nutritional intake, with a more relaxing and sociable environment in which to enjoy food.
From November the tea parties will run monthly on Redlynch and Pitton wards.
For further information please contact:
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01722 425170