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Digital Reminiscence Therapy for dementia patientst

1 May 2015

Digital 'interactive reminiscence software' has been funded by Southmead Hospital Charity to provide memory therapy for dementia and neurology patients at North Bristol NHS Trust.

The 'My Life' reminiscence software package includes a touch screen interactive system, which can be used at the patient's bedside, and contains a huge range of photographs, video clips, radio shows, music and lyrics dating back to the 1930's.

It also includes archive pictures and news reels of Bristol and the surrounding area from wartime to present day.

Songs from bygone artists like Glenn Miller, Elvis or Perry Como can also be added to playlists specific to a patient's treasured memories.

The material is chosen to spark recollections that can stimulate conversations between the patient and nursing staff helping them to provide more personalised care and well-being. The digital reminiscence packages also enable profiles of patients to be created to include their likes and dislikes as well as family pictures.

By creating a digital environment that is familiar to patients the reminiscence aids can ease anxiety and distress and encourage patients to interact with staff and each other.

Southmead Hospital Charity has provided £10,000 of funding for two aids which are being used with complex care patients at Southmead Hospital, many of whom have dementia, as well as with patients who have suffered a brain injury or stroke.

The software was funded through the charity's Christmas Cracker appeal where staff apply directly to the charity for funding for projects to benefit patients that go beyond NHS provision.

Jet O'Neill, Dementia Care Matron for North Bristol NHS Trust, said: "Complex care patients that have dementia or cognitive impairment are in an unfamiliar environment, the use of this digital technology enhances the engagement of staff with patients, helping to reduce agitation and anxiety. There is a growing awareness in the NHS of the need to identify creative interventions to support patients.

"The digital reminiscence software can capture memories about individual patients from across their lives in one place to create something really meaningful.

"It enables nursing staff and carers to interact with patients in contexts that are familiar to them; allowing staff to provide real person-centred care.

"We are grateful for the support from the charity that has enabled the purchase of this equipment."

Jane Ibbunson, head of fundraising for Southmead Hospital Charity, said: "These digital reminiscence packages are a fantastic example of how our staff can go the extra mile to provide personalised care for patients.

"The Christmas Crackers appeal is a great way for staff to tell us about projects that they feel will benefit the patients they work with so that we can fund them directly and we hope to launch this year's appeal in a few months time.

"Southmead Hospital Charity is proud to have funded this project that has made a positive difference to the experience that patients and carers have in hospital - something we couldn't do without the great public support we get from the Bristol community."
Digital Reminiscence Therapy for dementia patientst
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