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Patients living with dementia can now relive history thanks to the purchase of 10 new interactive devices for use in hospitals run by a trust in Kent.
The RITAs (Reminiscent Interactive Therapeutic Activity) allow people to sing along to music from the 1940s and 50s, watch historic speeches or look at old photographs, said East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.
“While visiting is restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic, the machines can help reduce isolation and boredom”
The devices work with TV screens and also allow patients to play games and puzzles. In addition, they can be set to provide moving images designed to be reassuring, such as a fireside or beach.
The 10 devices have been delivered to wards across the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent and Canterbury Hospital and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.
They cost £48,000 and were funded by East Kent Hospitals Charity’s Helping Your Hospitals appeal, which has so far generated around £100,000.
Dee Neligan, fundraising and development officer for the charity, said the devices were welcomed by both patients and staff.
She said: “We know these devices make a huge difference to our patients, so it’s wonderful to be able to provide another 10 RITAs for wards across the trust.
“While visiting is restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic, the machines can help reduce isolation and boredom and give patients a glimpse into the life they remember, and a respite from the noise and confusion they may experience in hospital.”