President of the Bega District Woodcraft Association, or Bega Woodies, as they like to call themselves, Shane Castles, called the donation a potential investment in the Bega Woodies future.
On Monday, January 6, the Bega Woodies gave three therapeutic activity boxes to the volunteers and staff at Pambula hospital for use with dementia patients.
The boxes, complete with latches, bolts, locks and small doors are given to dementia patients especially at a time when they may feel very disoriented after having an operation or a stay in hospital. The boxes provide a point of focus and can help to settle patients.
The volunteer carers work with dementia patients who have been admitted to Pambula hospital for medical reasons. Clinical nurse co-ordinator in dementia, Cath Bateman explained dementia patients and anyone with delirium need an extra level of care when in hospital for medical procedures as they need to be reminded to keep up their fluid intake and eat. They may also find the process of ‘coming to’ after an operation particularly difficult and being in a strange place, very upsetting.
Mr Castles said that the Bega Woodies had been asked if they could make the boxes and were about to do so when they discovered the very item in a Bega shop “far cheaper than we could make it”.
“We donated them in acknowledgement of the work that the hospital, staff and volunteers do. It’s great work the volunteers do in terms of the support given to families. The donation is a potential investment in our future,” Mr Castles said.
The dementia carers program started in Bega hospital in 2009 and in Pambula hospital last year with 16 volunteers offering to join the program.