PATIENTS on Ward 1 at the Alexandra Hospital were recently visited by Arts Uplift CIC group from Warwickshire which specialises in arts and health sessions.
The visit was part of an initiative to introduce patients to reminiscence therapy, a form of therapy that aims at evoking memories through cues and helping improve wellbeing.
A common symptom of elderly patients or patients living with dementia is impaired short term-memory.
However, often the person’s long-term memory remains intact. Reminiscence therapy enables patients to tap into their long term memory which proves to be incredibly popular as patients re-live pleasant experiences or remember fond memories.
During the visit patients were able to participate in a sing along, with singer Tristan delving into his repertoire of music from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s as well as songs from musicals and wartime songs as part of the groups Suitcase stories project.
During reminiscence therapy different cues are used to try and help encourage recollection of memories and emotions.
These prompts can vary from rummaging boxes, photo albums and music.
As well as singing along to classics like Bill Haley’s Rock around the clock and Frank Sinatra’s My Way, patients also got to reminisce when looking through a suitcase of artefacts such as Brylcreem, razors and perfume bottles.
The suitcase can adopt a variety of themes as part of this therapy, including health and beauty, holidays and food and shopping.
During the visit Vinnie Brennan, dementia nurse specialist at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “It has been wonderful to see such a positive impact this session is having on our patients.
“Just seeing the smiles and happiness as they remember the songs or an object is so rewarding to see for all the staff working on the ward as our main focus is putting our patients first.”
Jenny Davis Arts Uplift CIC director, said: “It was truly wonderful experience visiting the patients and staff at the Alexandra Hospital. Our handling objects and music went down a storm and we were inundated with staff and others popping in.
“Even the nurses were dancing.
“It was lovely to see so many smiling faces as well.”