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Contrasting care improves patient safety at Lithgow

12 Aug 2019


Staff on the ward at Lithgow Hospital have taken on the challenge of improving the safety and experience of patients admitted with dementia or cognitive impairment through the clever use of colour.

A high contrast environment can help people with cognitive impairment to better distinguish vertical and horizontal surfaces, reducing the risk of falls, injury and anxiety.

Nurse Unit Manager, Danell Thompson said the project began when she felt “there had to be better ways” to prevent falls, particularly in the bathroom.

In consultation with Dementia Australia, patient bathrooms were renovated in contrasting colours to align with the peak advocacy organisation’s standards. Staff have also implemented colour contrasting meal trays as well as the TOP5 initiative which encourages health professionals to engage with carers.

The effort involves nurses, physios and social workers, and is championed by the Hospital’s General Manager Jill Marjoram, who says she is “proud of the work being done at Lithgow Hospital to improve the hospital experience for people with dementia.”

Future projects will include 'dementia corners' offering information for patients and carers, and the creation of a more homely environment.