"Cherry Ward: What it's like to have memory loss, but to be helped"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Mental Health Services for Older People – Inpatient

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

Posted on behalf of a patient on Cherry Ward (older people's mental health) at Highbury Hospital:

I have long term memory loss, it's awful. I can talk to people, like I am now, but once they've gone I won't even remember having spoken to them. I have to write everything down, I carry a notepad with me. At the top of the notepad I write my name because if I didn't I wouldn't remember my name.

I can't fault the care I get here. I am able to be independent here and I can get myself up and sort myself out. Although I sometimes forget what time it is or what I need to be doing at a specific time (like breakfast) they never let me forget a part of my routine, they help me because they know I struggle with it.

The notice board really helps me. I check it first thing in the morning and if it's up to date then I know what's going to happen in the day, I know the date and I can be clear about what I'm going to do that day.

The staff never rush me, and never rush them. We look after each other.

The things they put in place for me allow me to be independent, especially the notice board. I wouldn't be able to have this kind of independence at home, this is why Cherry Ward is the best place for me to be. This is a safe place for me, and I feel safe. I don't have to worry about all the usual daily worries - like answering the door to strangers, or paying bills. Everything is done for me.

Diane (who runs the activity groups) and Jane (Physio TI) are brilliant, they keep me on my feet and encourage me to get involved in groups like movement and music, or the giant crossword. If I forget what time it is, then they come and fetch me to make sure I am able to join in. I just think they're brilliant. I enjoy every minute of the activities.

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Response from Andrea Ward, General Manager , Mental Health Services for Older People, Nottinghamshire Healthcare

Thank you very much for your positive comments about Cherry Ward and the staff, I'm very pleased to hear that your experiences have been good and that you feel safe and cared for by all members of the team.

If you do ever have any concerns or anxieties about your care that you want to discuss please let the ward staff know and they will ask Sharon Howe, the Matron for older people, to come and talk to you on the ward.

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