Multi-sensory equipment supports transitional care patients
People with dementia often require specialized care and supervision, often the decision is made that a long-term care facility will be the most appropriate care setting as they are equipped to provide the level of support and safety they need. Many patients on the transitional care unit are those with dementia waiting to transition to long-term care.
To provide enhanced support for patients, staff and families on the unit, the Cumberland Health Care Foundation provided over $100,000 in funding to purchase multisensory, dementia-friendly equipment to give patients a safe and supportive space to live until they leave.
Hospitals are often noisy, crowded and confusing for patients with dementia and other cognitive impairments. The surroundings are unfamiliar and can exacerbate challenges like memory loss, wandering, depression and aggression. By having this equipment in the unit, the patients experience decreased agitation, improved mood, increased concentration, calmed engagement, and relaxation.
“When patients feel less anxious, they want to move more, do more activities and their mobilization gets better,” explained Jennifer Carr, the transitional care unit team lead. “In this environment they feel they can trust us. When they’re upset, they feel they can confide in us. And not only can they confide in us, but we now have the tools to make them feel better.”
Photo of a Busy Boards, which have retro designs to invite patients to engage in activities they can easily do, such as petting the cat with a surprising outcome, to driving along leafy country roads.