“I used to count the tiles on the ceiling. That was the highlight of my day. There was nothing else to look at,” Laura, spinal injury patient.
Imagine what it feels like to be confined to one room, with no sense of what’s going on outside.
Being able to see out a window helps hospital patients stay connected to the world. That sense of day and night, seasons changing and, if the window is slightly ajar, the sound of rain, children playing or passing traffic, all help patients and care home residents retain a sense of time and place. This is particularly important for people with dementia.
I believe that all beds should be in sight of a window, and steps should be taken to make sure everyone can see outside. Simply raising a bed, tweaking a curtain, or positioning a mirror so that the view can be seen through the reflection, can make a big difference.
Sadly, some new hospitals have wards without views. If there is a window, it looks onto an atrium or a brick wall. This must surely be a step in the wrong direction.