YSBYTY GWYNEDD patients affected by dementia are receiving extra support to ensure they eat well and stay hydrated in hospital.

Individuals affected by dementia often experience visual problems, including not being able to distinguish between different colours.

Earlier this year, staff from different departments worked together to create a new dementia friendly orange menu, which includes finger food alternatives.

Now, food at the hospital is being served on brightly coloured blue plates which have been introduced specifically for people with dementia.

It has been discovered that if crockery is of similar colour to the food being served, then a person with dementia may not be able to see the contrast and recognise the food is there to be eaten.

However, dementia specialist nurse, Delyth Thomas, said the new plates are helping to increase the appetite of patients at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

"Research has discovered that making the food stand out visually by implementing brightly coloured background such as a blue plate is known to increase appetite by 25%," she said.

"Dementia is not all about memory loss, it can affect all aspects of daily living.

“It presents itself differently to every individual diagnosed, depending on the type of dementia they have and which part of the brain has been affected."

Nicholas de Mora-Mieszkowski, a clinical specialist speech and language therapist, added: “The addition of the blue plates to the orange finger food menu will prove extremely beneficial to patients affected by dementia.

"I’m really pleased to announce that inappropriate referrals for patients with dementia to Speech Therapy have continued to stay down since the establishment of the orange menu.

"The ongoing work to help our patients with dementia, in particular those experiencing delirium, to continue to eat as normal as possible is hugely important."