New machine helps dementia patients recall their past

New machine helps dementia patients recall their past

Patients with dementia at Grimsby hospital will benefit from a new machine they can interact with to help recall and share events from their past, thanks to a donation from Cleethorpes Golf Club.

The club has donated more than £8,000 to The Health Tree Foundation (HTF) – Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust’s official charity. It will be used to purchase a Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities (RITA) machine.

The machines help patients with dementia, particularly with memory impairments, by helping them recall and share events from their past through 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.

Members, visitors and supporters of the club raised the funds over the course of a year, from events like a charity golf day and an evening with ex-Grimsby Town Football Club (GTFC) legends, to raffles and bingo nights.

John Gale, former Men’s Captain of Cleethorpes Golf 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.

“We had a brilliant night where former GTFC footballers spoke about how dementia had touched their lives. The RITA machines really help dementia patients during their time in hospital.”

The money left over after the purchase of the RITA machine will go towards making our wards more dementia-friendly. Additional RITA machines will be purchased next year to use across the Trust.

Liz Stones, Chairman of Cleethorpes Golf Club, said: “We had our annual charity day in August and other fundraising events throughout the year, including our Captain/Pro challenge. The money was raised by golfers, visitors and social members. As a club, we’re always keen to support local charities and this was why the members were brilliant with their generosity.”

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.”

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.