Laughter really is the best medicine
An Australian-first pilot program at Flinders Medical Centre is brightening up hospital stays for elderly patients - many of whom have dementia.
Thanks to the generosity of Flinders Foundation supporters, and a CommBank Staff Foundation Community Grant, The Humour Foundation’s Laughter Care performers visit the hospital’s Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM) ward twice a week to sing, chat, and reminisce with patients.
Southern Adelaide Local Health Network GEM Ward Acting Allied Health Service Manager, Fabiola Jabur, said reactions from patients during the interactions have been “amazing”.
“A hospital admission can really impact on a patient’s mood, particularly with elderly patients,” Fabiola said.
“When we see them talking, interacting and singing together, you can see their faces brighten up immediately.
“It has also given patients something to look forward to and they’ll often make requests for specific songs on the next visit,” Fabiola said.
Reminiscence and humour therapies have been found to improve the quality of life for older people living with dementia or experiencing social isolation, while also decreasing agitation levels and behavioural disturbances, and creating a positive atmosphere for patients and their families.
“For people with dementia, or some other cognitive impairment, they won’t necessarily remember what they did this morning, but those old memories are still there and there is an emotional attachment to them,” Fabiola said.
“Through this program, the performers take the time to reminisce with patients which can really bring back all those sentimental moments.”
Staff have also noticed Laughter Care performers encouraging connection and interaction between patients sharing a room, which has helped overcome isolation and boredom.
Run by Australian Charity, The Humour Foundation, this is the first time the Laughter Care program has operated with elderly patients inside an Australian hospital, with programs already established in residential aged care homes interstate.
Recently, Laughter Care performers ‘Barry’ and ‘Derek’ (pictured left and right) brought some cheer to patient Carla – with the trio singing a rousing rendition of Que Sera Sera together.
“Well, that was quite something wasn’t it,” Carla said after the visit.
Gaming Projector Brings Fun and Games to Kids at Flinders
Flinders’ young patients now have a welcome distraction from medical appointments thanks to a new interactive projector gaming console.
Sssshhhh… ‘Sound Ears’ protecting little ears
New noise monitoring devices in the Flinders Medical Centre Neonatal Unit are helping the tiniest babies to get more restful and peaceful sleep.
Renowned expert joins precision dosing research team
Thanks to the support of family, friends and the community, a courageous cancer fighter’s goal has been achieved.
Flinders Foundation Lottery 2022 winners
We are pleased to announce the following winners in the Flinders Foundation Lottery 2022.
Exciting trial for people with MND
A new Fellow, based at the Flinders Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Clinic, will oversee an exciting patient trial investigating the effectiveness of a drug combination used to treat HIV in slowing the progression of MND.
A silver lining: how friendship formed from cancer
“If you asked a woman in their 30s, or younger, ‘what do you know about breast cancer?’ They’ll say, ‘well the awareness month is in October and the colour is pink’. There is really not much more to it, so it was quite shocking.”
New scholarship improving prostate cancer outcomes
Thanks to the support of the community and The Masonic Charities Trust, a Dutch doctor has been awarded a new scholarship to boost prostate cancer research at Flinders and improve patient outcomes.
Scholarship shines spotlight on sleep conditions
Flinders researchers hope to improve sleep quality and breathlessness among patients with highly prevalent sleep conditions, with the help of a Clinician PhD Scholarship co-funded by Flinders Foundation and Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute (FHMRI).
The Simonds Charity Home SOLD
It was a fun morning of games and giveaways in Lightsview. Local families and prospective buyers walked through the incredible two-storey home before an action-packed auction.
The Simonds Charity Home
Flinders Foundation is teaming up with The Great Australian Builder, Simonds Homes, to support thousands of South Australian children and families who need care in hospital.