Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is inviting the public to find out more about dementia as part of national Dementia Awareness Week.

People can come to the main atrium at the Great Western Hospital on Monday May 18 and Tuesday May 19 May and speak with experts from the Trust on the condition which affects around one in three people aged 65 and over.

Sarah White, Consultant Geriatrician and Clinical Lead for Dementia, said: “Dementia Awareness Week is an important fixture in our calendar as it provides us with the opportunity to increase the public’s understanding of this condition and to remind people that there’s always more to a person than just their dementia.

“There has been a great deal of work within the Trust over the last 12 months to improve the services and care we provide to patients with dementia. By continuing to raise awareness and understanding, more people are able to receive a timely diagnosis which allows them to plan for their future.”

Visitors will be able to learn about the Trust’s new dementia friendly ward, Jupiter, which opened in November 2014 following a £98,000 renovation project, funded by the Trust’s charity Brighter Futures.

The Jupiter Ward team will be on hand to discuss the recent changes, as well as showcasing some of the tools they use every day, such as the This Is Me passport, which gives staff an overview of a patient’s likes, dislikes and usual routine, resulting in more personalised care.

Wendy Johnson, Matron for Older Person’s Care, said: “The changes made to Jupiter are having a real impact on patients, with fewer now suffering from falls thanks in part to the ward’s new non-shiny floor. This ultimately helps people to recover quickly, meaning less time is spent in hospital.”

Carers of people living with dementia are also invited to come along and find out what support is available to them from the many dementia support groups that work across Swindon and Wiltshire. Other information stands, promoting the work of the Trust’s Palliative Care team, who have recently made changes to their end-of-life care programme, as well as the new Outpatient Welcome and Liaison Service (OWLS), which helps people with dementia find their way around hospital when attending appointments, will be held in the Academy, on the lower ground floor at GWH, on Wednesday May 20 and Thursday May 21.

Sessions are open to members of the public and staff.

Use #GWHDementiaWeek on Twitter to stay up-to-date with all the latest from the week and to get in touch with the Trust’s Dementia Care team.