Music, craft and comic apps helping dementia patients in critical care

The RITA monitor will be invaluable in providing a calm, soothing environment to critical care patients

The RITA monitor will be invaluable in providing a calm, soothing environment to critical care patients - Credit: My WiSH Charity

New devices have been donated to a critical care unit at West Suffolk Hospital to help calm dementia patients.

My WiSH Charity have given the hospital a new Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities monitor, or RITA having donated several others in the past to help patients with dementia to stay calm and relaxed. 

Esther Rawlinson, who is a Follow-up Sister for the unit, said: “The RITA contains apps that help improve patient cognition, orientation, distract during a procedure, help reduce anxiety by providing a calming environment, and also hopefully reduce the incidence of delirium. 
 
“It can be displayed through a projector onto the ceiling or screen, or be held by the patient themselves. Music of their choice can be played, relaxing scenes watched or sounds heard."

She said there are films for all genres and ages on the devices, games, craft activities, comics, daily newspapers, audio books and a translation app.
 
“For our longer-term patients, we can also set up an account specifically for them so they can see photos of their family or pets. It helps us deliver personalised care in a technical environment,” she added. 

The charity also provided the unit with a box of children's books and sensory items

The charity also provided the unit with a box of children's books and sensory items - Credit: My WiSH Charity

The charity has also given the unit a box of children’s books, which sensitively explain loss and grief in ways that children can understand. These books, which include titles such as Goodbye Mog and Badger’s Parting Gifts, can help parents and carers navigate conversation about what is going on with their loved one in the unit.

Sensory items, such as stress balls, gloop tubes and a Samsung tablet, which can soothe and distract anxious patients, have also been donated.

Sally Daniels, fundraising manager for the charity, said: “It’s just wonderful to be able to pass all the items onto the CCU. The unit can be a daunting place, so giving the staff tools to help make it easier for patients or to help with improving mobility and cognitive skills is just fantastic.

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"The books are also a fantastic addition to help ensure children understand a bit better what is going on. We couldn’t do this without the amazing donations we receive so huge thanks to the community for their continued support." 

To make a donation to My WiSH, go to: www.mywishcharity.co.uk