[T]he team at the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven have been sharing some of their museum artifacts and handling boxes with patients recovering from delirium at the West Cumberland Hospital.
Reach-Out is a dedicated service for Delirium and has several key elements; prevention, effective screening, support, treatment, liaising with other services to support discharge and education.
Delirium is mental confusion, which can sometimes occur when people are unwell. It can be caused by a number of things, including infections, dehydration and pain, but with the right support it can be managed or even avoided. The Memory and Later Life services at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust launched ‘Reach-Out’ (Reduce, Educate, Assess & Care with Hope) to do just that.
This service is the first of its kind in the UK. The North Cumbria Health and Care service has been co-produced by mental health specialists and clinicians from across the hospitals with input from patients and their carers. Health professionals will work with patients at the Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital who are at risk of developing Delirium.
The handling boxes contain items with a mixture of themes from Victorian, Viking, Roman times and old toys and really help stimulate reminiscence in patients as they recover.
Colleen Tiryaki, Clinical Lead for the new Delirium service (Reach Out) at the hospital said: “The staff contacted the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven to see if we could loan items to use in cognitive stimulation therapy/ reminiscence.
“Part of recovery from Delirium include sensory and therapeutic activities which aid recovery and shorten their stay in hospital. All of the patients have thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing and looking through them. I would like to thank the Beacon Museum for all of the objects that we received; they have been really useful in what we can offer patients.”
Alan Irwin, Business Development Manager at the Beacon Museum, Whitehaven said: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative in collaboration with the local hospital trust. Giving people the opportunity to handle objects of historical value is a catalyst for memories and imagination, and for people with conditions that often restrict the functions of the mind it is a tool that allows people to reconnect past to present.”
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