Grimsby Hospital gains machine to support dementia patients

Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby has received a new machine that their dementia patients can interact with to help them recall and share memories of past events.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust’s official charity, The Health Tree Foundation, received a donation of more than £8,000 from Cleethorpes Golf Club.

The money will be used to purchase a Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities (RITA) machine which will be installed at the Grimsby hospital.

The machine is designed to help patients with dementia recall events from their past, which is particularly beneficial to those with memory impairments. It uses a range of interactive activities to boost cognitive stimulation and help patients share their memories and spark conversation.

Emily Woods, dementia clinical nurse specialist, said: “The RITA machines are fantastic as they can be used for cognitive stimulation. It helps keep patients stimulated and creates conversation. We do use them for our vulnerable patients but other patients can also use them too.”

RITA’s activities include listening to music, watching news reports, listening to wartime speeches, playing games and karaoke, browsing the internet, viewing old maps and photographs, making video calls and watching films.

The money was raised over the course of a year, with Cleethorpes Golf Club organising a range of events for members, visitors and supporters.

John Gale, former men’s captain of the club, said: “I lost my mum to vascular dementia a few years ago, so I wanted to give something back to help support these patients.

“She had the condition for more than eight years. I chose HTF to raise money for and I want to say a big thank you to everyone that has helped us reach our total.”

Once the trust has purchased the RITA machine it will put the remaining funds towards making the hospital wards more dementia-friendly.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust also intends to purchase additional RITA machines that will be deployed across the trust’s sites.

At the start of this year, digital health app company Memory Lane Games launched a new clinical pilot study with Hospice Isle of Man’s Scholl Academic Centre to study the impact of digital reminiscence activities on patients with dementia.