The Dementia Support team at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust have recently introduced new digital reminiscence therapy computers onto the elderly care wards at Pinderfields and Dewsbury Hospitals.
The digital reminiscence therapy is a form of cognitive therapy which calms, stimulates and reduces agitation in patients with dementia. The therapy has been proven to help and positively engage dementia patients, with a cognitive decline in mental abilities such as memory and thinking.
The digital therapy computers offer a wide range of interactive touch screen activities for the patients to engage with such as a wide range of music from every generation, old and new films to watch, a wide range of interactive games and an app for families to create a personalised life album by uploading photos with their loved one.
Some of the touch screen games include horse racing, pig racing, selfie photograph jigsaws, whack a mole, create your own aquarium, coconut shy and even painting.
The technology has proven to be a useful pathway for staff getting to know the individuals and learning more about the patients and their interests.
Claire Coleflax, Dementia support worker, across all sites at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said -
“The new digital reminiscence therapy is proving very popular with our patients. Since it was introduced three months ago we have noticed how patients are really engaging in the different activities. They are staying awake for longer periods in the day to use the computers and they are interacting so much more with their relatives when they visit using the activities, as well as with staff and other patients. We really believe this new technology has helped to reduce the number of falls on our elderly care wards in partnership with our Safety Support workers, and this is allowing them to build better relationships with patients by interacting through using the games and activities.”
Wards 41 and 42 at Pinderfields currently have two wheelbase computers and on ward 43 at Dewsbury Hospital there is an iPad with the software uploaded onto it. The computers are available for any of the dementia patients to use freely and the dementia support workers regularly use the computers with patients. The software has been created by the company ‘My Life Software’, who specialise in creating software to help support people with dementia.
For more information, please contact the Communications Team at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust on 01924 543650 or 01924 543634.