Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Dementia Awareness Week - Activity boxes

 Written by the Activity Therapists team.

Activity Therapy – To compliment clinical and medical interventions to enhance patients’ well-being and aim for a better personal hospital experience, through cognitive and sensory stimulation and physical activities.

We are the Activity Therapists, a team of five who have set up a new service at NUH dedicated to patients who suffer from dementia, delirium or confusion and are at high risk of falls.

We have been busy throughout Dementia Awareness week. One of the activities we have been promoting is ‘Activity Boxes’.

The activity boxes are designed to stimulate withdrawn patients or calm patients who are anxious or agitated. They also provide a distraction to reduce the risk of falls. The activities have a therapeutic benefit and are selected on a person-centred basis.

Reminiscence activities such as looking at old photos or books, encourage socialisation, improve confidence and the ability to interact, and can alleviate loneliness and boredom as well as  lift low moods.

Purposeful activities, such as shoe polishing or washing up, enable feelings of being useful and valued. This maintains a patient’s dignity and maintains life skills and personal interests.

Word searches and quizzes can enhance cognition, stimulate and keep an active mind.

Music therapy is uplifting, maintaining the central cortex of the brain, which remains intact in later stages for people with dementia.  

Sensory stimulation can promote calming experiences, reducing agitation and anxiety.

The activity boxes have been generously funded by Nottingham Hospitals Charity. Our aim is to provide 100 boxes to share across 100 wards and hundreds of patients.

You can read more about our work in Friday’s blog.

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