RITA: Reminiscence Interactive Therapy and Activities

At Northumbria Healthcare, we have always endeavoured to incorporate meaningful activities within our elderly care wards. We understand that providing the right environment alongside meaningful activities really makes a difference in enhancing our patient’s experience. Regular use of the patient’s day room, tea parties, and group sessions have all been part of the day to day goings-on within our elderly care wards but we wanted to try a different format for activities using some of the latest technology available.

We spent a lot of time looking at the different tools available and reaching out to the providers of these tools and came across My Improvement Network. Once we had found the right tool for our ward, we sought funding we had received from CAPITA. We approached Bright Northumbria, Northumbria’s Healthcare’s Charity for the remaining funds needed. We presented our plans and they fully backed our idea by awarding the required funds.

The tool that we purchased for the ward comes in a touch screen PC form but also comes with smaller tablets that are used independently from the main unit. Before purchasing the tool we had already looked at case studies showing evidence the tool worked in an elderly care environment and the benefi ts to both patients and staff were positive.

We then did some research that suggested the patients and staff were anxious using technology, and even the word put people off from using the tool. With this in mind we spent some time thinking how we could deploy the tool onto the ward in a way that would engage everyone whilst also making things fun. Rather than this tool simply being a computer, we decided to give the system an identity – We used the campaign “Hello My Name Is” and RITA was born, using the acronym. RITA stands for Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activity.

RITA can help:

  • Recall memories
  • Patients relax in the hospital environment
  • Encourage conversation and interaction between patients, their family and staff

Things to do with RITA:

  • Watch a movie
  • Play interactive games
  • Create a life story
  • Run reminiscence sessions

We launched the tool as RITA and were surprised that straight away, RITA became a member of our team! She is much more than just a tablet or piece of software, RITA helps brighten our patient’s day.

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Royal College of Nursing

My Improvement Network are committed to investing in education for health care professionals and are proud supporters of RCN Projects

The integration and use of technology within healthcare offers significant benefits in both primary and secondary care settings. These benefits can extend across nursing practice from improving person centered care to enhancing daily workflows. Providing educational tools that empower and guide nursing staff through this digital revolution is critical and will help facilitate successful incorporation and safe implementation of technologies within nursing, by nurses.