Staff working at University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) are now able to better interact with elderly patients thanks to a new digital bedside therapy system that has been introduced to wards at the Royal Stoke University and County hospitals.
RITA (Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities) is a state-of-the-art digital therapy system which allows patients to use apps, play games, listen to music and view messages from loved ones as part of their hospital recovery.
The system has been rolled out on elderly care wards at both UNHM hospitals, thanks to funding from UHNM Charity and it's supporters.
Nadine Opiniano, Matron for Older Adults at UHNM said: "RITA is of great benefit to patients with acute delirium, confusion and dementia who could become distressed with unfamiliar hospital surroundings. It's shown to be effective in calming down the more anxious or agitated patients."
"Since the introduction of RITA we have seen a reduction in falls, as agitated and distressed patients have remained in bed and been entertained by using the system. We've also had a lot of fun with RITA, recently holding a popular bingo afternoon using the large screen."
And with ward visiting currently restricted due to Covid-19, patients and families have benefited from RITA's ability to play video and audio messages from their loved ones, enabling them to stay connected during this time.
"The easy-to-use touch screens allow dementia patients to enjoy relaxing music, watch archived BBC news footage, view old photographs and listen to historical speeches, which evokes memories and is a great conversation starter.
Lisa Thomson, Director of Communications and Charity at UHNM added: "RITA has already had a wonderful impact on our patients, and we are looking to introduce the system on more wards in the future."
"It’s thanks to supporters of UHNM Charity that we can improve the experience and comfort of our older patients."