Evelyn’s exceptional ability to communicate with dementia patients

17th October 2022

Evelyn Blumenthal

Evelyn Blumenthal is a multi-faceted and outstanding volunteer at the Royal Free Hospital, and it is a privilege for anyone to work alongside her. Since retiring from managing a hospice in 2018, Evelyn has devoted hours of her time to support vulnerable people. This year she has already clocked up over 733 hours of volunteering.

Evelyn has been a key volunteer in the Royal Free dementia companionship volunteer programme and has trained volunteers, giving them the skills to visit patients with dementia or the elderly and vulnerable. Volunteers of all ages have shadowed and learned from Evelyn’s exceptional ability to communicate with patients with dementia to enable them to feel secure and stimulated.

Patients are often calmed by Evelyn’s kindness and careful attention and she has also contributed to the saving of staff time, who might otherwise have been called to a distressed patient. Evelyn is also a regular ward supporter and integral to the ward housekeeping by providing refreshments for patients.

“Evelyn comes with so much energy, always willing to help with compassion and understanding.” Glinda – Junior Sister - Ward 7.

Another of Evelyn’s contributions was to volunteer for the Royal Free Charity’s support hub which supports patients with long term health conditions. When Evelyn was not volunteering on site during lockdown, she was telephoning a vulnerable patient every week for around a year over lockdown to offer a listening ear and help to find out what she needed and signposted her to help.

Evelyn also volunteers in the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust ethical biobank review. She sits on a board review and gives feedback on research applications from an ethical point of view. Macmillan Cancer Support at the Royal Free Hospital has also been a beneficiary of Evelyn’s volunteering and she offered support and kindness to patients who visited the site.

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