Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo - Open Day held at Memory Technology Resource Room in St John’s Community Hospital, Sligo

30th September 2022

HSE Media Release

As part of International Dementia Awareness month, an Open Day was held in the Memory Technology Resource Room (MTRR) in St John’s Hospital, Sligo on 19th September 2022.

The Sligo based HSE Memory Technology Resource Room (MTRR) was launched on 25th July 2022 in St. John’s Hospital, Sligo, on a pilot basis. 

This is one of 28 such rooms nationally, all run by Occupational Therapists and all of which have achieved fantastic outcomes for the dementia and cognitively impaired client group over the last number of years.  The MTRR service is one that has grown nationally year on year, having started as an "Assistive Technology Library" pilot programme in Tipperary in 2011, to now having 28 permanent sites across Ireland.  The service is supported nationally by the HSE and the National Dementia Office.

The MTRR is a practical resource for people with memory difficulties, dementia, their families and friends to see and trial a wide range of assistive technologies to support memory, independence and safety.  It is led by a Senior Occupational Therapist Kara Dolan who will assess where specific difficulties lie in relation to a person’s memory, and then advise on how best to support them with their memory problems in their day to day life.  Alongside the assistive technologies, the Occupational Therapist may provide individualised education, home based memory programmes and / or practical strategies that aim to help people keep well and maintain their independence despite their memory problems.

The MTRR has a wide variety of Assistive Technology devices on display and available for clients, and their carer’s, to see and trial, under the assessment and guidance of an Occupational Therapist.  These include orientation devices, safety devices, motion sensors, GPS tracker type devices, as well as many of the smaller and lower tech devices which often have the biggest impact. It also provides advice around adapting the clients existing technology (e.g. education for medication reminder Apps on smartphones etc.) to enhance daily living in the most cost effective way possible.  All recommendations for the purchase of devices will only be made following thorough discussion and assessment by the O.T. of individual client needs. 

The aim of the MTRR service is twofold: 

  • Firstly, it provides individualised OT assessment, advice and education around Assistive Technology devices which may be beneficial to the clients' specific areas of difficulty or concern.  The success of this aspect of the MTRR has been largely due to the strong focus on the individualised, client centred OT assessment, and subsequent individualised OT advice. 
  • Secondly, the service will also have a strong focus on client (and carer) education.  This will include education and implementation of various cognitive and compensatory strategies, which aim to facilitate safety and independence, as well as improve the client's quality of life.  It also includes education and assistance on navigating the wide range of smartphone apps and other services in the community which are now freely available.

The service is offered to any clients, over the age of 18 years, who have dementia or have memory/cognitive difficulties that are affecting their daily function and engagement.  They must be living in County Sligo, and in most cases be able to attend an appointment in the MTRR room in St. Johns Hospital.  Home visits can be provided in certain cases where it is not feasible for the client to travel, or where the OT feels that it is relevant to complete the assessment in clients own home.  Referrals can be accepted from any healthcare professional, and clients/families can also self-refer.

Ciara Connellan, OT Manager, Older Persons Services Sligo Leitrim said "I am so pleased that we are now in a position to offer this fantastic service to those in the Sligo area who experience memory deficits.  This service will provide practical support to both clients and carers as they journey through life with cognitive difficulties. It is so beneficial that we now have a large variety of assistive technology products available and the expertise of a dedicated Senior Occupational Therapist in Sligo to support those aged 18 years and over through their difficulties".

Last updated on: 30 / 09 / 2022