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Arts care for Daisy Hill stroke and rehab patients

20th February 2024

Patients in Daisy Hill Hospital’s stroke and rehab ward are enjoying arts activities to support with their recovery.

Based on level four of the hospital, the inpatient stroke and rehab team of medical, nursing and allied health professional staff support patients following acute stroke as well as older people recovering from illness or injury.

The Southern Trust and the Department of Health jointly fund Arts Care to provide arts for health programmes delivered through their Artists in Residence, to enhance the experience of patients and service users.

Following a popular programme with the renal unit before Christmas, artist in resident, Caroline Shimmons is now running eight weekly sessions with stroke and rehab patients. Caroline specialises in textiles and has a keen interest in art therapy. She has been working with patients on weaving, sketching, drawing and sewing projects.

Stroke and Rehab Ward Manager, Sister Ursula Haughey explains how the ‘artist in residence’ programme is benefitting their patients: “We know that too much bed rest can reduce independence, increase the risk of confusion, falls and infection and actually prolong a hospital stay. We are always encouraging our patients to get dressed, get up and keep moving as much as they can in a bid to prevent ‘PJ paralysis.’

“Our specialist physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and nurses work with each patient at their own pace and ability, aiming to prevent deconditioning and promoting their independence. The artist in residence really complements our rehabilitation programmes, by giving patients an enjoyable goal to focus on whilst developing their social, cognitive and motor skills, to help them on the road to their recovery.”

Jean, a patient from Newry has enjoyed getting out of her bed and into the multidisciplinary room to do some sketching and weaving. She said that it has helped to keep her mind occupied, rather than moping about her illness and she has enjoyed the conversation with Caroline and the other patients.

Agnes from Kilkeel added that she thinks the artist in residence programme is a really good idea to help pass the time for patients who can get fed up staying in hospital.

#EndPJparalysis – End PJ Paralysis