TCMH adds new items for geriatric patients

Texas County Memorial Hospital has added new items for geriatric patient use as part of the hospital’s NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program.

In 2008, TCMH received a $13,872 grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in Springfield to fund implementation of the nationally recognized NICHE program at the county hospital.

Most of the grant funds have been used for education and training of TCMH nursing personnel, but the hospital recently purchased some special items to be used with geriatric patients. The new items include DVDs and CDs of old television shows and music, pet mitts to provide the sensory experience of petting an animal and other items that can be used to keep hands busy.

Some elderly patients stay in TCMH for up to 21 days as part of a long-term care program that helps them transition back to living in their own home or to residing in a nursing home. The NICHE tools can be used as part of daily activities for longer-term, less acute care patients.

“Some of our elderly patients are limited in what they can do physically while they are hospitalized,” said Krista Elliott, medical surgical department and NICHE trained nurse manager at TCMH. “These items will be available in the med surg department for patient use as needed.”

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