Manning Hospital is trialling the use of sensory rugs and muffs for patients exhibiting complex behaviours, thanks to the craftsmanship and generosity of the Taree Craft Centre.
The trial is similar to the concept involving diversional therapy rugs for residents who have dementia with confusion, implemented in aged care facilities.
Manning Hospital excellence coach, Naomi Case said the textures, colours and sounds of these tactile items have had a soothing and calming effect on patients.
They have proven to be particularly effective for patients who have a dementia diagnosis and also for those experiencing acute episodes of confusion.
Post-operative patients, even those without dementia, can experience delirium with confusion and distressing behaviours for which diversional therapy can be very beneficial.
“Patients admitted to hospital with underlying dementias often are confused and can become quite agitated,” Ms Case said.
“This can be very distressing for the patient and their families, and presents challenges for staff whose goal it is to ensure their safety. Confusion and agitation pose significant risk to the patient, including falls, which in turn can result in further injury.
“Thanks to the positive work of the volunteers at the Taree Craft Centre, we have been able to provide our more complex confused patients with the Sensory Diversional Therapy mats and muffs to help ease their anxiety during this challenging time.”
Ms Case said this strategy has been very positive with noticeable reductions in challenging behaviours in these patients.
“Providing sensory aids helps patients to settle into hospital and remain calm, which also aids their treatment when admitted, reducing angst and distress for loved ones,” Ms Case said.
Bianka Jesse, from the Craft Centre in Taree said it was a pleasure to provide these items.
“Not only do we enjoy the process of creating the sensory mats, but to then know that they are making a difference is very rewarding,” Ms Jesse said.
“This is a great example of how a simple gesture can have such a great impact on the lives of many,” Ms Case said.
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