Dementia kits will help patients' hospital stay - The Evesham Observer

Dementia kits will help patients' hospital stay

Evesham Editorial 19th Dec, 2016   0

RESIDENTS living with dementia in the Vale are benefiting from a new form of therapy which helps calm, stimulate and reduce agitation during their hospital stay.

Digital reminiscence therapy kits have been in use on six wards across Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust since November and have been found to already be beneficial for patients with cognitive decline, memory and mobility problems.

The kits, which include a TV style monitor and a tablet, offer interactive activities and games such as jigsaws and bingo; and nostalgic music, films, TV and radio programmes.

Donna Kruckow, Lead Nurse for Dementia and Older People, said: “This kind of therapy is known to be extremely powerful for patients with dementia and we are already seeing how it can calm patients down. It can help de-escalate the situation if patients become distressed and it also reduces feelings of isolation.

“It’s powerful because we can also tailor content to individual patients – families can upload personal things like photos and music that their relatives can then watch and listen to. The reaction from the patient is often immediate.”

The kits are being used as part of the trust’s dementia strategy, which will be officially launched next year. The dementia team are now looking at securing funding to buy reminiscence packs, which includes things such as old newspapers and replica items from days gone by, to use alongside the kits and act as memory triggers.

Karen Wilson, Dementia Support Worker, said: “We see over 3,000 patients a year with dementia so these kits will form an important part of our aim to deliver high quality care for them and their carers.

“I have found that they are particularly beneficial in ward bays as the content often prompts conversation and memory sharing between all of the patients in the area. It also means staff have an effective communication tool for the patients in their care.”

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