As part of their ongoing support for Cobalt, staff from the Cheltenham office of global technology company IRESS have been fundraising for the charity’s Dementia Futures Fund. Along with pledging to train their staff to be more dementia aware, IRESS employees have helped fund digital reminiscence therapy equipment to be used at The Fritchie Centre, a dedicated base for research and a hub for those affected by dementia in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire.
The computers currently in use are made by a company called ‘My Improvement Network’ and are known as ‘RITAs’ (Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities). They are used to assist patients in remembering and sharing events from the past; including listening to music, looking at old photographs and playing games. As well as encouraging conversation, there is growing evidence that these kinds of therapies can reduce anxiety and agitation in patients.
Jacqueline Durbin, (IRESS Foundation representative), said “It’s fantastic to see that our Foundation fundraising efforts are delivering tangible benefits in this way and helping patients and their families living with dementia. I was delighted to see the ‘RITAs’ in action and to see how this technology can make a real difference. The software is so easy to use and has so many uses. In particular I can see how having easy access to positive memory triggers through music, films and photos can help bring comfort and respite.”
Through our Dementia Futures Fund, Cobalt fund two specialist dementia nurses at The Fritchie Centre to recruit patients onto national research trials. We support these trials with state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging (scanning) equipment at our Imaging Centre in Cheltenham. We also provide free scans for patients referred to us to help diagnose young onset dementia and work in partnership with local hospitals to enhance facilities for patients with dementia and their families.
Dementia is a group of related symptoms associated with an ongoing decline of brain function. This may include problems with:
● memory loss
● thinking speed
● mental sharpness and quickness
● difficulties carrying out daily activities
For more information about the Dementia Futures Fund contact the Fundraising Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01242 535922. Follow us on Twitter @cobaltfr or like @CobaltSupporters on Facebook.