At Better Lives we support activity that enhances care beyond the NHS core offer. Here are some examples of how our charitable funds are supporting service users, their families and our staff:
- Rita bundles
This life-enhancing equipment provides specific digital support for older people living with dementia and/or other acute mental health diagnoses whilst they are receiving in-patient healthcare. RITA supports individuals to participate in meaningful activities using reminiscence therapy principles helping prevent the onset and escalation of distressing behaviours which occur due to mental health crisis as well as being cared for in an unfamiliar environment.
- Lively Up Yourself sessions
The purpose of the Lively up Yourself programme is to inject some fun back into work to support staff fatigue as a result of the Pandemic. We have hosted laughter yoga, hula hooping, comedy nights, desk yoga and meditation, musical bingo, solo music artists, Pilates and quizzes
- Music therapy
Better Lives have funded a Music Therapist (Lucy, from Nordoff Robbins) who comes to the Dementia Assessment Unit (DAU) on a weekly basis. During sessions she offers musical opportunities to sing, play, perform, listen and move for our 24 patients. In some of her work, she uses familiar songs to reconnect a person with their emotional past, stimulating memories which can help to regain identity. For some patients, music therapy can reduce isolation by promoting active engagement, communication and expression. For others, music can reduce heightened emotions, bringing distraction and calm to patients with agitation.
- Key installations for palliative care patients
Installing key safe boxes to access palliative patients who are often bedbound and unable to open their bedroom door to our nursing teams.
- Outside therapy space
The charity funded a Pergola and plants. A quote from the applicant “I wanted to have a more vibrant, colourful, and organic space for our young children who struggle to attend appointments within a clinical setting. I feel if we could offer a more eco-friendly and organic space, then perhaps our young people may be able to engage better within our appointments and perhaps we could reduce the DNAs because of this facility. I am passionate about using natural environment (with safety regulations of course) for our young people who often do not attend appointments because they feel nervous and anxious in clinical settings.”
- Christmas gifts
Helping to buy individual Christmas gifts for our mental health service users.