Halloween Treats for RHS Dementia Cafe Visitors

On Tuesday 16th October the RSH Dementia Cafe ‘Golden Moments’, run by Karen Breese, dementia specialist nurse, her team and the Radfield Home Care team created a fun filled afternoon of Halloween treats and activities for all to enjoy, bringing together patients, out patients, visitors and their families living with dementia.


Visitors also enjoyed being introduced to some very special guests; a selection of dementia therapy dolls donated by Sandra Gilson from ‘Forever Dolls’.  Sonya Cole, care manger for the Radfield Home Care Shrewsbury branch, explained, “We are so grateful to Sandra for making and donating these dolls for our clients and the dementia cafe.  They are wonderful dolls, extremely lifelike and provide many benefits to our clients living with dementia and the dementia cafe visitors.”


Karen Breese, dementia specialist nurse explains, “The image of an older person cuddling and singing to a child's doll can seem strange and incongruous. However we have found some   people living with dementia enjoy cuddling the dolls and it stops them being distressed and agitated.”


“Dolls seem to alleviate the agitation or distress. They help to reduce withdrawal and help overcome communication difficulties between the carer and the patient. There are various theories as to why doll therapy works. Some believe it brings back happy memories of parenthood and of being useful and needed. Doll therapy is very much a nurturing therapy, as it gives people living with dementia a sense of meaning and purpose.  Interestingly, doll therapy also seems to work with people who have not had children, as people who haven't had children find it comforting as well.”


Since the cafe opened in April 2017, following a successful launch of the ‘Precious Moments Dementia Cafe’ at The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford (PRH) the cafe has gained great momentum, with now a second cafe running every third Thursday in the month, supported by Radfield Home Care and its care team.


The cafe brings people living with dementia and their families together twice a month for a fun get together with tea, coffee and freshly made cakes always available; a great opportunity to meet people in a fresh environment.  The Radfield care team, all trained to care for people living with dementia are always on hand to assist the cafe, and enjoy the interaction of meeting and chatting to the visitors.  With Radfield’s support, it has allowed the cafe to become much more accessible to bed patients in the hospital, who can be brought down from the wards by the dementia care team in their hospital beds, whilst the Radfield Care team can look after the cafe visitors.


The dementia cafe is held on ward 22 GYM on the first and third Tuesday of every month, and everyone is welcome.