The Cognitive Impairment Identifier Symbol (CII)



The symbol above is one to look out for when a person with dementia is in hospital.The symbol will be placed near the patient’s bed and will be used to indicate that the patient has cognitive impairment. This will ensure that the person with dementia will be treated appropriately.

The current problem in hospitals is that staff are often unaware of any impairment or are not trained in how to work with people who have a cognitive impairment. Hospital staff will be trained in how to care for people with dementia and will include the following:

  • Introduce yourself
  • make sure you have eye contact at all times
  • remain calm and talk in a matter of fact way
  • involve carers (family)
  • keep sentences short & simple
  • focus on one instruction at a time
  • give time for responses
  • repeat yourself…don’t assume you have been understood
  • do not give too many choices

The idea is to promote a better awareness of dementia, reduce stigma and provide a better level of care to the person with dementia.

This is a great step forward!

* this campaign was originally initiated by the Ballarat Health Service and has been producing positive results.It is now being implemented into the CALHN (Central Adelaide Health Network) which includes the RAH (Royal Adelaide Hospital) and TQEH (The Queen Elizabeth Hospital)

2 thoughts on “The Cognitive Impairment Identifier Symbol (CII)

  1. Anita S. says:

    I just visited TQEH (an acute medical ward) that deals with many patients with dementia. They had no idea about this icon symbol. I know there is a specialist dementia unit at TQEH – who may utilize it but what about the rest of the hospital? You would have thought by now…. there would have been some development in this area and all domestic and medical staff would have undergone some training as it is a very important care benefit to any patient with cognitive problems.

    1. Hi Anita,

      Sorry for the slow reply. I am not entirely sure the ‘Identifier’ has been rolled out at TQEH as yet. I do know that it is being trialled in selected wards in the old RAH. I was in on the training of nursing staff at the RAH so there are definite steps forward. I will let you know if I find out any further developments on the roll out. Thanks for your feedback.

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