Residents, team members, families, neighbours and local care professionals are all invited to join the community at 3.30pm on Friday 10 May for an afternoon tea party that will celebrate the partnership.
The project, which is exploring the impact of tactile and sensory objects for people living with dementia, is a partnership between Sunrise Senior Living, NHS and Cardiff Metropolitan University and funded by the Welsh Government under the European Regional Development Fund scheme. This project will evaluate one of the playful objects developed at the university over the last three years as part of the LAUGH project (www.laughproject.info).
HUG is a soft multi-sensory comforting device with weighted hands and feet, an electronic heartbeat, as well as the ability to play music and sound, and is designed for people with more advanced symptoms of dementia. Nominated for an award at the UK Dementia Care Awards last year, it aims to soothe and provide comfort to older adults facing the various behavioural and emotional challenges associated with memory loss.
The project will soon enter its six-month implementation phase in mid-May when 20 HUGs will be made available to 20 residents in Sunrise of Cardiff’s Memory Care Neighbourhood, a dedicated space in the care community for those living with dementia. Researchers will track data to see if the device improves wellbeing.
As part of the project, a group of women looking to develop new skills for future employment or start up their own business were brought together to learn fabric manufacturing techniques from the team at Cardiff Metropolitan. Working together, the group helped to make the HUGs as part of support provided by the organisation Purple Shoots, who offer loans, guidance and training to people who are unemployed or on a low income and looking to start their own business. Those involved will be attending the launch event at Sunrise along with Karen Davies, Director of Purple Shoots.
On 10 May, Sunrise of Cardiff will hold a training session for the whole team just before the launch event kicks off. Guests will then be welcomed to enjoy snacks and refreshments and find out everything there is to know about what is sure to be an exciting and innovative project.