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Frome Community Hospital declared dementia friendly for in-patients

Paintbrushes have been out in force at Frome Community Hospital where refurbishment work has been underway to make sure Marshfield Ward is dementia-friendly for inpatients. 

The work, which took a few months to complete, involved painting ward bedrooms, the dining and day rooms and the ward reception in bright, vibrant colours to help dementia patients find their way around. As an extra special touch, staff created a ‘reminiscence corner’ filled with memorabilia from the 1950s.

Frome Community Hospital matron, Hayley Hughes explained, “For our older patients with dementia, old memories usually remain intact and by using memorabilia from an earlier period, we can connect them with happy times from their past.

“We have provided a mock fireplace, surrounded by 50s wallpaper and furniture that offers a comfortable place to sit. There is an old transistor radio and a TV that plays 1950s sitcoms and soap operas which can remind patients of earlier times. It can often provide a wonderful prompt to start them talking to relatives and other patients about their experiences and can help these patients open up to staff as well.

“Bright colours on the walls are also important for patients with dementia. Remembering the colour of their ward is often easier than remembering directions so navigating to and from bathrooms, dining areas and the day room becomes more manageable and helps keep patients independent as much as possible.”

Chief executive of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Edward Colgan, praised the work and said, “It is a delight to see the results of the refurbishment. Bedrooms, dining and day rooms, reception and corridors look so fresh and welcoming, not only for patients with dementia but all who stay on or visit Marshfield Ward. I am also pleased to see that ‘reminiscence corner’ is already making patients’ stay in Frome Community Hospital more comfortable and relaxing.”

Friends of Frome Hospital Chairman, Peter Smith, welcomed the refurbishments and said, “Since 2008, the town has been fortunate to have this wonderful new community hospital. The re-decoration scheme is a fine example of the care and thoughtfulness exercised by the matron and her staff and they are to be congratulated on the success of this innovative scheme.”

Frome residents invited to Dementia Friends Session 

Residents of Frome are being invited to ‘do something new’ and become a Dementia Friend this Dementia Awareness Week (17th- 23rd May).

The 45-minute, interactive Dementia Friends Information Session is taking place every day between 18th-22nd May (6pm-8pm) at Rossetti House during Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship awareness-raising campaign.

This year the campaign is encouraging people across the country to ‘do something new’.  This is because Alzheimer’s Society believes life doesn’t have to end when dementia begins, and new experiences can still bring joy to a person’s life, even as memories fade.

Dementia Friends was launched in February 2013 by Alzheimer’s Society. It is a trailblazing initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. Already more than one million people have become Dementia Friends across the country.

The sessions are run by volunteer Dementia Friends Champions and are the first to be run by Rossetti House in Frome.

Esther MacKillican said, “I became a champion as I have found that there is still a lot of stigma surrounding dementia and it’s so important we break this down and help people to understand it more.

“As part of my role at Rossetti I’d like to see people living with dementia and their carers feel supported in their daily lives and show that care homes can be a place to provide this support throughout their journey and not just at crisis points.

“Dementia can affect a person’s relationships and their connection to the world they love, leaving them feeling isolated and alone. By becoming a Dementia Friend you can help keep people connected to their lives and people who matter most.”

Camilla Alfred, Alzheimer’s Society operations manager for South West said, “Dementia Friends is about giving people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia.

“This Dementia Awareness Week is the perfect time to ‘do something new’ and take part in a Dementia Friends Session near you.”

For more details, visit or to find out more about the Alzheimer’s Society services in Frome call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or email at For more information about Alzheimer’s Society visit