Askham Village Community has surprised residents with a state-of-the-art, dementia-friendly interactive projector to help keep residents stimulated during lockdown – having put forward £6,000 to complete its staff fundraising target.
The specialist rehabilitation and care group near Doddington unveiled its brand-new OM Interactive projector to delighted residents last week, having put forward the remaining money, completing a year of fund-raising efforts. The OM Interactive projector is dementia-friendly and designed to stimulate, relax and encourage memory recall through scenes and sounds from nature, including virtual water effects and therapeutic colouring; social games promoting physical dexterity and joint effort, and nostalgic themes and music. Despite the current coronavirus lockdown measures stopping fund-raising activity, Askham proceeded in acquiring the projector as the senior team knew the value and positivity it would bring to residents in their care during the crisis. With restrictions in movement in place across the 5 homes that make up the community, the projector will play a vital part in keeping residents’ minds healthy, active and stimulated through a range of cognitive experiences.
Joanne Monaghan, Head of Care & Nursing and Registered Manager at Askham Hall and Askham House, said: “The projector has already brought a lot of joy and positivity in light of what is going on in the world at the moment. It’s a really high-tech piece of equipment that’s inclusive to everyone. It has wheels so is easily transferable and can project on tables, the floor or a bed, the latter being really beneficial to those who are bed-bound. It can facilitate a variety of activities such as visual quizzes, games and sing-alongs. We look after residents who have repetitive actions like tapping so it can bring a lot of stimulation and happiness by letting them sweep projected leaves, paint colourful images on walls, or touch and cause ripples in projected ponds. It’s a piece of equipment the staff have wanted for a long time, so to have Askham surprise us by accelerating the purchase is amazing – it shows they support us on the ideas we come up with.”
After having an initial demonstration of the projector last year, staff found that residents, and their families, instantly took to it, spurring the team’s fund-raising efforts to get one of their own. More than £2,000 was raised through raffles, bingo, coffee mornings, ‘name the stuffed toy’ challenges, and crazy hat days. Some staff even dyed their hair purple to help raise towards the required target.
Kerrie Whytock, Askham’s Activities Coordinator, said: “The new projector is a major asset to Askham. The residents are having great fun using it and already have a favourite game – they love challenging the staff to air hockey!” After the spouse of a resident watched video footage of her husband doing a multiple-choice quiz on the projector, she commented: “That’s such an advancement on his ability to answer a question, and it’s not just generic questions but questions that need thought and decision. It’s fantastic!”
A family-run business for over 30 years, Askham Village Community provides specialist nursing and care for the very young to the elderly, offering day visits, respite or long-term care, goal-focussed rehabilitation, and continuing reablement support. Askham has also joined a list of care providers across the country that have reassured residents and their families they will not be increasing fees, despite daily care costs rising by more than a third amid the pandemic. Having community at the core of its values, the care group decided it wasn’t right to burden those in their care with higher fees at this time.