Volunteers invest in dementia care | Latest news

Volunteers invest in dementia care

A generous investment from the Voluntary Services team at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is helping to improve the experience of people living with dementia.

The team has invested £8000 of the money it raises through sales in its Trust wide coffee shops to buy four RemPods which will be permanently erected on the elderly care wards for patients and their relatives to use. Charitable organisation, League of Friends also purchased a RemPod for the Trust.

RemPods are innovative pop-up rooms designed to be reminiscent of a bygone era and are used to help calm those in hospitals and care homes by taking them back to more familiar times. They are filled with authentic furniture and memorabilia which is hoped to get people living with dementia talking about the memories they still retain.

89 year old patient Bryn Haworth, spent some time in the vintage tea room themed RemPod with his daughter Sally. “This is great,” said Sally, “Dad recognises some of the music on the radio, he’s enjoying his coffee and the teapot looks familiar.

“Stirring these memories in this way gives us a better quality of time together as Dad can remember things and we can talk about them. It’s a much less hospital type environment as well, it’s more like being at home, which makes him feel calmer and more at ease.”

As well as two vintage tea room RemPods, the Trust has a potting shed, sweet shop (with real sweets) and a bar.

Anita Ruckledge, Lead Dementia Nurse at the Trust, said: “The RemPods are a fantastic idea and we are so grateful to the Voluntary Services team for making it possible for us to offer them to patients.

Enjoying the Potting Shed: patient Wendy Walker with Ward Befriender Beany McIntyre.
“The memories which can be evoked by being in a comfortable and familiar environment, and the calming effect it can have, are amazing. For someone who perhaps used to be a gardener, spending time in the potting shed can help them to remember the job they once had. They can carry out some of the daily tasks they previously did and it can help them to feel less agitated.”

The pods are proven to relieve boredom and depression, allow interaction, increase nutrition, and improve memory loss.

“It’s great to see our RemPods being used by the patients as well as their families,” said Richard Ernest, Director of RemPods. “Creating a fun and social space where families can really interact with their loved ones is an important part of good dementia care.

“Dedicating a space just for socialisation gives staff the opportunity to engage with patients and really get to know them. We know that our RemPods can’t cure dementia, but we can certainly help to improve lives.”