Computer therapy aids fight against dementia

Computer therapy aids fight against dementia

NEW therapy computers have been introduced on elderly care wards at Dewsbury and Pinderfields Hospitals.

The technology is used as 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 who are suffering from a decline in mental abilities such as memory and thinking.

Also known as my-life computers, the machines offer a range of interactive touch screen activities for patients to engage with, including a wide range of music from every generation, old and new films, games and an app for families to create a personalised life album by uploading photos with their loved one.

Some of the touchscreen games include horse and pig racing, selfie photograph jigsaws, ‘create your own aquarium’ and painting.

The technology has proven to be a useful pathway for staff getting to know individuals and learning more about the patients and their interests.

Pamela Austwick, whose father was admitted last month, enjoyed using the reminiscence therapy and said: “What a wonderful idea. My dad loves his brass band and classical music, which was very soothing and brought back memories we could talk about. The older generation need these tools to keep their minds working.”

Dementia support worker Claire Coleflax said: “The 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, staff and other patients.

“We really believe this new technology has helped to reduce the number of falls on our elderly 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 have two my-life computers and on ward 43 at Dewsbury there is an iPad with the therapy software.

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