Summerset retirement villages is rolling out new technology designed to help improve the lives of people living with dementia.

 Summerset recently received its official accreditation as ‘Dementia Friendly’ by Alzheimers New Zealand after 18 months of work to meet the programme’s standards. Summerset General Manager Operations Eleanor Young says the organisation is committed to the excellence of care and is proud to be helping people with dementia get the best out of life.

As part of its focus on dementia care, Summerset recently trialled the ‘inmu’ technology in its Palmerston North, Manukau and Ellerslie care centres.

Inmu combines music, tactile elements and movement in a soft interactive cushion that stimulates multiple senses.

 “Some of the challenges older people and those living with dementia face are anxiety, depression, confusion, agitation, sleep problems, loneliness, social isolation and boredom, “ says Young.

 “The music is specifically designed for the inmu and allows people to feel in control. It provides a continuous stream of music that adapts with the person’s movement.”

 Summerset’s trial found that the inmu helped:

  • improve the general mood of residents living with dementia, including reducing anxiety, frustration and agitation
  • people sleep better
  • improve feelings of safety during social interactions
  • support staff and family members to establish communication – especially for residents who are non-verbal.

Summerset is initially introducing 17 inmu to its villages, with plans to supply more over time.

Inmu is supplied to Summerset by the sole New Zealand distributor Allied Medical and is the first aged care provider in the country to use this technology.

 “We’re delighted that Summerset has embraced this new technology so soon after we introduced it into New Zealand. Together we’ve been able to see how it can improve the lives of people at different stages of dementia, “ said Allied medical director Katie Noble.

 “Having worked alongside the Diversional and Recreational Therapy team at Summerset has really cemented the benefit of the inmu in an aged care environment", she said.

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