Better Lives, the official charity of Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, has received a donation of £23,148 from the Morrisons Foundation to support older patients living with dementia, and other patients with acute mental health diagnosis.

The Morrisons Foundation supports charities making a positive difference in local communities across the country. The money was donated after the Better Lives team applied for funding to buy reminiscence interactive therapy activities (RITA) equipment for patients on the dementia assessment unit and the Bracken mental health ward.

Staff on Dementia Unit with new equipment
Staff on Dementia Assessment Unit say thank you to Morrisons Foundation for life-enhancing equipment.

The specialist equipment is designed to reduce patient isolation, depression and agitation. It consists of a 24-inch interactive and portable screen which can be wheeled to bedsides or used in communal areas as part of group therapy. The software can be used to play games, music, videos and television clips, and offers a variety of activities to keep patients stimulated during the day.

It also has a ‘my life story collage’ feature where patients can store photographs and memories to look through at any time. By providing mental and creative stimulation, this equipment means that patients are able to sleep better and are less reliant on medication.

The equipment can also be used a communication tool, to video-call relatives and improve communication with patients who may struggle to talk or whose native language is not English.

Catherine Jowitt, head of charity and volunteering at the Trust, said: “The new RITA kit is going to make such a difference to our dementia patients and those who need inpatient care for other mental health conditions at the Trust. By blending entertainment with therapy and enabling engaging group activities, this equipment will be life-enhancing for them.

“It will help communication between individuals and staff, in-turn leading to calmer environments while receiving care. We would like to thank the Morrisons Foundation for their incredible support in purchasing this equipment and look forward to inviting them to see RITA in action on our wards.”