Photographed: Our Dementia Buddy Volunteers provide valuable support to staff and patients on the wards.

Nearly two thirds of patients admitted to hospital are older people, and 25% of these are over 85 years old. Many of our older patients have no family or carer to visit.

Our Silver Birch Fund raises funds for our older patients, buying equipment and furniture that increases comfort or safety for our frail patients, and supports their journey from hospital to home or care home. Charitable funds have helped introduce a reminiscence room on Ebony Ward at Darent Valley Hospital, where patients with delirium can be taken back to the familiar surrounding of the 1940s, as well as other interventions to care for patients with dementia. New technologies such as laptops/tablets with Skype link can be used to help keep patients in touch with family and friends, and the Charity can help with emergency travel funds to help attendance at appointments and assist relatives to visit, who may be older themselves. 

The Fund also allows us to purchase those little extras that help older patients feel cared for and valued and make their stay in hospital more pleasant, particularly if they do not have any friends and family able to visit. These are items such as: 

  • toiletries – aftershave, perfume, deodorant, make-up
  • closed back slippers and dressing gowns 
  • games, colouring books and activities
  • large print books

If you would like to donate any of these items then please contact [email protected] 

You can help by: