Step back to help memories at St Richard’s Hospital

Rempods are coming to St Richard's Hospital. Emma Carter, specialist occupational therapist for dementia, in one of the pods.
Rempods are coming to St Richard's Hospital. Emma Carter, specialist occupational therapist for dementia, in one of the pods.
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PATIENTS are being taken back in time, to help with dementia care.

Western Sussex Hospitals has ordered four new rempods, and is getting ready to move one into St Richard’s Hospital.

The reminiscence pods create a small area where patients with dementia can be taken back into a world where they feel more comfortable and where their memories might be stronger.

“They are in use already and you can really see their worth,” said Emma Carter, specialist occupational therapist.

“I saw a man and his wife, who has dementia, sit together watching a film in one of the pods, and it prompted them to talk about past holiday and experiences they had shared. When I came back an hour later they were both still there, talking together – it really looked like they were having a special time together in a calm, less-clinical environment.”

The Friends of Chichester Hospital have raised the £1,600 for the new pod, which was the idea of businessman Richard Earnest, who took his idea on TV show Dragons’ Den and won financial backing.

Matron Katrina O’Shea said: “About one-quarter of all inpatients in acute hospital beds are believed to have a dementia, and so we face a major – and growing – challenge to ensure these people get the best possible care.”