Mental health & communication project 2020

A special Covid-19 grant from Foundation will allow clubs in the District to supply tablets to day centres, care homes or hospitals in their locality who deal with dementia patients.



Situation

In late March 2020 the World Health Organisation declared a world Pandemic caused by the rapidly spreading Covid 19 virus. The British Government supported by the Scottish Government implemented a number of restrictive measures including “Lockdown” and “Shielding” in order to reduce the movement of the public and the spread of the virus. This meant that many individuals with cognitive decline who relied on family, carers, day services and their local community for additional support had their support removed overnight. While services made plans for alternative methods of service delivery for example telephone contact, meal delivery etc. individuals were left socially isolated, often leading to further cognitive decline.

District 1020 would like to consider the purchase of tablets and supporting software to tackle the social isolation and support isolated individuals, thus enhancing their social interaction and quality of life.

Background

District 1020 considered the impact of isolation in the community and the lack of resource available to groups working with dementia and cognitively impaired clients and applied for a Global Grant to tackle mental health and isolation caused by the Covid 19 pandemic and the restrictions placed on vulnerable people.

Work in a local district general hospital {ST Johns @ Livingston} within the busy general medical wards highlighted that the use of technology and various meeting platforms could bring individuals together remotely. This was found to be a highly positive experience for patients, families and staff increasing the social contact with families while reducing distress and agitation with dementia patients.

With guidance from the dementia nurse specialist staff down loaded music, games, puzzles and painting apps to tablets and were very enthused when the cognitively impaired individuals with a little prompting in the beginning were soon mastering the technology and the games. The technology was also used to allow carers and families be in contact daily with patients who were identified as being isolated and vulnerable.

Assessment

Local Rotary Groups have begun to identify numerous support groups and day centres, many of whom are run on a voluntary basis with grant funding, that had clients who would benefit, both in the short term during the immediate restrictions of the pandemic and in the longer term if they become house bound or have service cut backs, from remote face to face contact from services or “ zoom type coffee mornings” . It would be very beneficial on a number of levels for individuals to have social contact, be able to use the various activities apps and have face to face contact with professional care givers who would be in a better position to monitor their health status. However resources are such that to purchase tablets devices to ensure internet access are possibly beyond the reach of many groups.

Recommendations  

  • District 1020 will purchase up to 256 Lenovo M7 tablets or similar, for distribution by clubs to day centres, care homes or hospitals in their locality who deal with dementia patients.
  • Please note that the tablets should not be given to individuals.
  • This would mean that up to 4 would be available to each club in District, if all clubs wished to apply.
  • If clubs chose not to apply that this would mean that the number of tablets to be allocated could increase.
  • An application Form will be required to be completed by each club advising where they would be proposing to place the tablets and how they will be used. This application form will be placed with the other Foundation Grant Application forms on the District Website under the “What we do section”.

There will be a closing date for applications of the 30th September 2020.

After the closing date if there are any tablets undistributed then these will be distributed on a needs basis from the applications already received.

Please note that the tablets will be internet ready but we are unable to provide funds for connection to the Internet.

The applications will be dealt with by then project Short Term working Group (STWG) consisting of PDG Agnes Ritchie; PDG Allan Maclaughlan and PDG Jo Pawley the decisions of the STWG will be final.

Application Form

Clubs can download the application form here:-