Purple Angel helping Torbay Hospital

The entrance to Torbay Hospital

Torbay Hospital - Credit: Submitted

Hello all, last week I appealed to all carers in Torbay to contact the Purple Angel about our free MP3s we are giving away to help those with dementia.

Today, I would like to tell all how we are working with Torbay Hospital during the Covid pandemic.

We have worked alongside these wonderful people for years but now, more than ever, they need our help, and that’s why we have provided 15 pre-loaded MP3s for five wards on the site allocating three MP3s to each ward.

The wards are Simpson Ward, Cheetham Hill Ward, George Earl Ward, Midgley Ward, and Dunlop Ward.

These five wards have received Mp3s each preloaded with music, one genre is for 50s to 70 years old and two of 70s and over thus ensuring most age groups covered by dementia, but not all as we know, but it’s a good start.

We have seen first hand the benefits of how well these work but they also help the nurses as well and here’s how.

Most nurses are allocated around seven patients each and do such an incredible job looking after them  - you have probably worked out by now I am a huge NHS fan.

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Well, when a couple of those patients have dementia on top of the illness that are admitted to hospital for, it's almost what they call a perfect storm and it’s so much harder for the nurses.

Some with dementia are prone to hallucinations, their emotions are all over the place and most of all, some  are prone to wandering, so you can imagine when even one of the patients with dementia is up and about the nurse can only make sure they alone, are safe and help them, the nurses cannot be in two places at once as much they would love to.

What the MP3s provide is a kind of time out for both patients and nurses as once the headphones are placed on the heads of the patients and familiar songs are played the whole of the brain lights up  - scientific fact - and calmness descends.

I could bore you all to death and write about how this happens with words longer than my keyboard, but I won’t, all that matters is that it happens, and when it does, the patient is taken to a place of happiness, calmness and is too busy listening to the songs to want to keep getting up out of the chair therefore giving the nurses more time to do other things, it really is as they say a win-win situation.

But that’s not all my friends, oh no, there is much more to the MP3s than that.

Over the last two years of doing this we have been told it helps in so many other ways.

People respond to music in so many different ways and we have found if anybody is having trouble easting or dinking, by giving them the MP3s before breakfast, lunch or supper it puts them in the mood to eat and drink which improves their wellbeing so much.

Also staying sitting longer listening to the music has reduced falls and also when the person with dementia is what they call sundowning it helps immensely.

So by now you can see why we here at Purple Angel are passionate about getting these out to all and helping as many as possible.

These are very strange times and hard times we live in at the moment but we believe even through lockdown we can help so many more.