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Dementia-Friendly Hospital

Patients with dementia and their caregivers have special needs. A common question is, “How is dementia different from aging and forgetfulness?” Aging happens to everyone; dementia does not. Aging is a natural and expected aspect of human life; dementia is a disease. Forgetfulness may make retaining new information frustrating at times, but new information can be retained. In contrast, a person with dementia will eventually be unable to retain new information. Dementia is an ‘umbrella’ term used to describe changes in brain function that interfere with a person’s ability to do everyday tasks. There are many different types of dementia, one of which is Alzheimer’s. At FirstHealth of the Carolinas, it is important that we care for our friends and neighbors with dementia.

Dementia-Friendly Hospital

Your Dementia-Friendly Hospital

  • Recognizes the signs and symptoms of dementia upon a patient’s admission.
  • Provides training for staff on how to care for a person with dementia.
  • Asks family members and caregivers to provide detailed information about the patient’s preferences.
  • Makes special clinical and non-clinical accommodations for patients with dementia.
  • Emphasizes the non-pharmacological management of the expression of the disease.
  • Provides specially trained companions to help patients with dementia feel comfortable and safe.
  • Involves family and caregivers in the discharge planning process.
  • Provides dementia education to patients and caregivers.



The lavender Forget-Me-Not has been selected as FirstHealth’s symbol for dementia. The Forget-Me-Not is a delicate flower that requires gentle love and care. Within FirstHealth hospitals, the flower is placed on a patient’s door to indicate the patient has memory or cognitive challenges. This puts staff on notice to use their dementia-friendly skills as they provide care.


Caregiver Support

Caring for a loved-one with dementia poses many challenges for families and caregivers. FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers Support Groups for caregivers of dementia patients.For more information, or to find a group near you, click here.

To learn more about FirstHealth’s Dementia-Friendly program, including tips for communicating with dementia patients and how you can get involved in making your facility Dementia-Friendly, call (800) 213-3284.


FirstHealth's Dementia-Friendly Hospitals include:

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