Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities (RITA)

A Pilot Study in Cheshire Care Homes

In June 2021 NHS Cheshire CCG, now known as Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care Board, identified a need to improve the health of residents living in care homes across Cheshire in line with the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Framework (ENCH).

The EHCH centres on the needs of individual residents, families, and care home staff. It highlights 70% of residents living within care homes have Dementia and it advocates steps to enhance Dementia care in care homes.

Within the framework is the provision of opportunities for residents with Dementia to maintain cognitive skills through meaningful activities and healthy lifestyles using reminiscence therapies and activities.

RITA is an interactive screen and tablet system blending entertainment with therapy in Dementia care, in recalling and sharing events through music, significant historical events, speeches, playing games, karaoke and watching films

Project Summary

In line with the aims of the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) Framework, Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care Board commissioned the End of Life Partnership (EOLP) to pilot the use of RITA within Dementia registered care homes across Cheshire and to measure the impact of its use on residents health and wellbeing.

The framework highlights that around 70% of residents living within care homes have Dementia. Most care home residents who live with Dementia are also in the latter stages of the condition, leading to many experiencing difficulties in communicating their needs and preferences. This may in turn also cause these residents to act in ways that are seen as challenging.

RITA is an interactive screen and tablet system, blending entertainment with therapy, with an evidence base in Dementia care. The RITA system offers music, news reports of significant historical events, speeches, games, karaoke and films. A personal profile can also be uploaded into RITA to enable the selection of person centred activities. RITA aims to support residents mood and wellbeing by reducing feelings of agitation, isolation and delirium. In addition the RITA system also aims to reduce falls, support with the nutrition and hydration of residents and improve their interaction with others [i].

Aims of the Project

The End of Life Partnership (EOLP) were commissioned to pilot the use of RITA  in a selection of care homes across Cheshire, specialising in dementia care. The project aimed to assess the impact the use of RITA had on the health and wellbeing of residents, living in care homes and in key areas to include:

  • Falls
  • Use of anti-psychotic medication
  • 1:1 support ,
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Safeguarding incidents

Download our Executive Summary here.

[i] Hi My Name is RITA- The My Improvement Network (2023)

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