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Orchard Care Homes study links use of PainChek® to improved wellbeing for residents living with dementia

Use of digital pain assessment tool PainChek® at Orchard Care Homes has been linked to improved wellbeing for residents living with dementia, in a study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry.

To enhance the quality of life for people living with dementia, leading care provider Orchard Care Homes established a multi-faceted psychosocial intervention programme called ‘Reconnect’ designed to increase meaningful occupation and engagement, improve pain identification and management, and reduce constipation and distress.

The study reviewed the impact of this programme on people living with dementia who had not previously responded to support in alternative settings or found previous care ineffective in relieving their distress and reducing risks they pose to themselves or others.

The Reconnect programme’s interventions – based around meaningful activity engagement, pain management (using PainChek®) and constipation relief – resulted in significant improvements related to people’s distress, psychotropic use, and safeguarding, with a 91.7% reduction (i.e., from 36 to three events) in safeguarding events related to behaviours observed.

With 23 care homes in the Northwest, Northeast, Yorkshire and the Midlands, Orchard is the largest care provider in the UK to use PainChek® to identify pain in its residents living with dementia.

Speaking on Dementia Action Week (13-19 May 2024), which is Alzheimer’s Society’s annual campaign to encourage people to act on dementia, Hannah Miller, Head of Dementia at Orchard Care Homes, says: “It is well known that failure to recognise and treat pain effectively is a problem amongst people living with dementia. Pain is a trigger of distress, yet often overlooked as a contributing factor, and the person is not only left to suffer unnecessarily in pain, but also to be prescribed psychotropic agents to manage their behaviours.

“Integration of PainChek® in Orchard Care Homes’ electronic care plan has been a real game changer, enabling our care teams to closely monitor and assess the pain experience of individuals in their care using a mobile care device, providing staff with a long-term view of when a resident is likely to experience pain.”

PainChek® CEO Philip Daffas says: “Orchard Care Homes has used PainChek® for more than three years and its ‘Reconnect’ quality improvement programme aligns with our mission to provide innovative solutions for pain management in dementia care. These positive clinical outcomes underscore the importance of our collaborative efforts and the contribution of the PainChek® technology to improving the quality of life for those living with dementia.”

Hannah Miller adds: “Orchard strives to incorporate technological advances and put them into practice to ensure we are enabling all people living in our care homes to achieve good outcomes and be afforded equitable care regardless of their cognitive ability or ability to self-report health concerns such as pain. Individuals who are not able to effectively verbally communicate pain who were previously disadvantaged are now on an equal footing with those that can communicate effectively. The PainChek® app has been pivotal to our ‘Dementia Promise’ and improving the overall wellbeing of many of the residents living in our homes.”

PainChek now has contracts with 1,600 aged care facilities across three continents, with more than five million digital pain assessments conducted to date.

For more information, visit: https://painchek.com

Kirsty

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