VIDEO: Kettering General Hospital appeals for public’s help in improving dementia care

Kettering General Hospital has appealed for the public’s help in donating items to improve care for people with dementia.

The hospital has a number of Memory and Activity Boxes, which contain memorabilia designed to trigger memories, stimulate conversation and be of interest to patients.

Jenny Embling, Joanne Taylor and Leanne Hackshall at Kettering General Hospital with dementia memory boxes

Jenny Embling, Joanne Taylor and Leanne Hackshall at Kettering General Hospital with dementia memory boxes

And officials at the Rothwell Road hospital are hoping members of the public will donate objects to help them expand the scheme.

Each memory box, the size of a shoebox, contains memorabilia including postcards, old advertising posters, coins, shells, packs of cards and a variety of other items.

The idea has been tried out across the country by various caring organisations and charities connected to dementia and Kettering launched its own scheme in 2011.

KGH’s disability and sensory impairment facilitator, Joanne Taylor, said: “A memory box is simply a box which contains items which can spark vivid memories for a person who has dementia.

“It is something that helps hospital staff to engage with a person and talk about their life and times and find out more about them.

“This in turns helps staff to make a better connection with a person, aids understanding and can help to improve the quality of that patient’s care.”

“Since our launch we have also developed an activity box which have things like dominoes, playing cards, and large print puzzles which many dementia patients enjoy playing.”

The hospital hopes local community groups, such as Cubs or Guides, will help bring together objects to donate for the boxes.

Joanne added: “The boxes are shoe box size and we are looking for about 5-10 items per box.

“Items can be anything that would spark a vivid memory. It could be old photographs, household items, items such as shells, dolly pegs, marbles, things related to specific events, for example a ration book from the Second World War or old advertising memorabilia, or something with a look or texture that could be a conversation piece.

“Themes could be things like local towns, the boot and shoe industry, sport, the war years and hobbies.”

Any one interested in donating items for the boxes should contact Joanne Taylor on Joanne.taylor@kgh.nhs.uk or 01536 493340.