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My Improvement Network: Evoking Reminiscence in Dementia Therapy
Michael Hamilton, Director, My Improvement Network
Reminiscence is a powerful tool. Snippets of memories, such as a familiar tune or an interesting clip from a TV show or a movie, hidden in the depths of our brain can strike a chord and transport us back to memorable times of the past. When memories start fading away for people with Alzheimer’s, and various other dementias that develop in the twilight years, caregivers and family members can use reminiscence therapy to help them share stories of the past. It fills dementia patients with a sense of joy, and they are less likely to succumb to stress, boredom, or agitation.
Using reminiscence as a conduit to trigger pleasant memories, My Improvement Network, a company specializing in innovative patient-centered technology, empowers caregivers and family members to care for dementia, ABI, and LD patients. My Improvement Network developed RITA, short for Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities. It is a digital platform designed to deliver therapeutic interventions on the fly.
“RITA stimulates resonance to connect people through content such as music, TV clips, or movies, enabling a patient to recall past memories and have meaningful conversations with their caregiver or family members,” says Michael Hamilton, Director of My Improvement Network.
RITA is most effective for people living with dementia that struggle to verbalize their feelings. It is best exemplified in an instance where the technology helped an A&E nurse comfort a patient with advanced dementia when nothing else seemed to work. As the patient was rushed to an A&E hospital in a state of extreme distress, the nurse had little information, but the one key component of age was enough. One of RITA’s features is the ability to search music by decade. As the nurse played music tracks that had been prominent in the patient’s youth, one of the tracks ultimately triggered happy memories and helped them calm her.
To help caregivers better manage behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, My Improvement Network places great emphasis on education and awareness of the importance of patient-centric care. The use of RITA in the hands of people who understand the value of enhancing someone’s quality of life and wellbeing directly leads to what Hamilton calls ‘byproduct outcomes.’
“If a caregiver or family member manages to keep the patient stimulated with therapeutic interventions like RITA to support them, the rest follows, delivering a knock-on impact with reduction in falls and safeguarding incidents and increase in nutrition and hydration rates,” says Hamilton.
In addition to reminiscence therapy, RITA offers art therapy and music therapy. The device is built with communication apps, such as Hear Me, which offers live text and graphics translation and Show Me, which employs a traffic lightbased system to help patients communicate where they are experiencing pain in their body, from ‘hurts a little’ in green to ‘hurts a lot’ in red.
RITA stimulates resonance to connect people through content such as music, TV clips, or movies, enabling a patient to recall past memories and have meaningful conversations with their caregiver or family members
Offering a more in-depth focus on the learning disabilities segment of care is My Improvement Network’s sister company, My QoL, which stands for ‘My Quality of Life.’ My QoL employs sensory-based content such as sensory rooms to provide a calming experience for people with learning disabilities. It employs assisted living monitoring (ALM) technology to facilitate fall prevention and enhance the quality of life and wellbeing.
My Improvement Network and My QoL are continuously expanding their technologies while incorporating content distinctly catered to the region where the technology is being deployed. Soon to expand this unique technology into more parts of the world including the US, Canada, Australasia and Europe, My Improvement Network is headed toward establishing a strong legacy as a business with its unique technologies meaningfully transforming the way people are cared for.
Management Michael Hamilton, Director, My Improvement Network
Description My Improvement Network’s Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities (RITA) technology offers reminiscence therapy through media such as images, TV clips, and movies, and music. My Improvement Network specializes in innovative patient-centered technology to empower caregivers and family members to care for dementia, ABI, and LD patients.
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