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‘Seo Mise’ dementia resource pack helps Portiuncula patients

‘Seo Mise – This is Me’ a quality improvement initiative developed by the Occupational Therapy and Medical Social Work Departments in Portiuncula University Hospital (PUH) was recently launched.  It includes a Dementia Resource Pack which has been designed to empower patients and families to make effective decisions and choices regarding their future care. The four medical and surgical wards at the hospital will also have access to a Dementia Activity Box suited to individuals requiring stimulation with therapeutic intervention.

Siobhan Coen, Occupational Therapist at PUH explains that “approximately one in three patients aged 70 and older admitted to Irish hospitals have dementia and this figure will increase annually as the population ages. People living with dementia are among the most vulnerable patients in hospital. They are often older, frail, and very prone to delirium, falls, pressure ulcers, and malnutrition which are key safety issues in hospitals.”

Outlining what is available in the pack, Siobhan notes it contains “the ‘Seo Mise – This is Me’ booklet featuring information for service users and their families on the availability of support services in Ballinasloe and surrounding areas. It also includes the ‘Think Ahead’ form developed by the Irish Hospice Foundation which encourages service users and their families to discuss and record their wishes in regard to all aspects of their future care.  Another part of the initiative is the introduction of a Dementia Activity Box to enhance the patient’s experience at the hospital.

Activity Box

“This Activity Box aims to promote a more cognitively stimulating environment for our patients with dementia. The box is equipped with a variety of both traditional and new technology products such as jigsaws, conversation balls and iPads which will be used to cognitively stimulate patients and hopefully better build relationships among staff and their patients. These products are evidence-based to facilitate engaging conversations, stimulate senses and promote reminiscence between patients with dementia, staff and carers. It will support optimum health and wellbeing during the patient’s hospital stay and help reduce the anxiety and confusion that can occur whilst in an unfamiliar hospital environment.”

Caroline McInerney Layng, Social Work Manager said she was “delighted to be associated with the launch of our resource pack and activity box, this is all part of building on the National Dementia Strategy and continuing the work of the Understand Together Campaign which was launched in 2017.”

James Keane, General Manager at Portiuncula University Hospital welcomed the initiative noting that “staff from Occupational Therapy and Medical Social Work have worked closely together to introduce this fantastic new initiative focusing on driving innovation and further education to benefit our patients. It is important that we have greater supports in place to ease the journey through our hospital for our patients. Ensuring we have processes to assist in meeting the needs of our patients is a priority for the hospital.”

Watch a short video about the Seo Mise initiative