Under the pilot Dementia Hospice Care programme, patients with advanced dementia received specialised care to manage their unique symptoms, for instance, better control and management of pain or discomfort. A multi-disciplinary team of experts including palliative and geriatric dementia care, nursing team, physiotherapists as well as art, music and speech therapists attended to the medical, health and psychosocial care (including spiritual needs) of the patient.
The team of specialists also arranged activities for mental stimulation, and staff were trained to be more attuned to verbal and non-verbal cues in understanding patients’ needs. A sensory garden next to the ward provided space for patients to engage with nature and stimulate their senses. The spaces within the dedicated ward were also conducive for caregivers to befriend one another and provide mutual support through social interaction and group therapy.
The programme also helped patients and their families with caregiving and end-of-life-care planning.