Elmwood ward, Parkland’s hospital at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust is an Older Persons Mental Health Acute 14 bedded unit for patients with dementia where Support is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Elmwood was fortunately funded by Brighterway charity to part funding of RITA (Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities) system.
What is RITA? Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activity
Navigating RITA you can find many different categories, each category contains multiple apps which can be scrolled through and accessed with a single tap, this can be a shared activity or patients can have their own named files and tap to preview their personal tile.
User accounts on the RITA are easy for patients to access, there is a default ‘Guest’ account which can be used for just everyday access, or a more personal account where a patient can create their own account with a password where any favourite games, films, pictures etc will be saved, (these can easily be deleted when a patient moves on from the ward).
There are many films and different kinds of music stored on the RITA with a wide variety for all.
Julie Bowles, Activity Coordinator involved in the project, said “Seeing the patients, along with some family members and staff have fun together enjoying the RITA made me feel really proud! The RITA is being used to try and bring all together especially with the bingo game and the karaoke brings fun and smiles to the ward, Patients appear to be generally enjoying themselves and this has proven really beneficial for their wellbeing.”
The Team have also commented,
Rosa Rodrigues senior HCSW commented “what a difference the RITA makes to calm patients’ mood”
student nurse Emily Blades commented “how nice to see a patient interact with the games/apps on the system”,
Justin Chesterman HCSW commented “nice to see patients smile and enjoying an activity”
Cathy Roberts Modern Matron commented “Moments to treasure seeing a dementia patient utilise the system and having a big smile with meaning and full engagement”