Pyjama scrubs reduce sleep deprivation at Runcorn care home
Caring Times, July/August 2018
Pyjama-style uniforms for care home night staff have significantly reduced sleep deprivation, pacing and
disorientation among residents living with dementia.
The switch to scrubs covered in cartoon cats and love hearts was trialled at Simonsfield care home in Runcorn, Cheshire.
Staff are required to conduct regular checks on residents and both the day and night teams previously wore the same blue scrubs. Many of the home’s residents with dementia had trouble differentiating between the two and this could confuse them about sleeping times. Disorientation and pacing was a regular occurrence during night time hours, leading to sleep deprivation and associated lack of energy, irritability and mood swings.
Infection control guidelines mean staff cannot wear pyjamas, so home manager Debbie Smith came up with the idea of cartoon patterned scrubs for night staff.
“We thought we’d try out scrubs that mimic pyjamas for the night carers to help minimise sleep deprivation, pacing and disorientation for our residents living with dementia,” said Debbie.
“The initiative met with a really good response from most of the residents and we’ve seen a drastic improvement in their sleep patterns, so the switch has been made permanent.
“It is remarkable how a simple change in uniform can have such drastic impact on the lives of those living with dementia.”