Designing Whiteboards as Memory Aids for Behavioral Healthcare

May 12, 2020

healthcare whiteboard

Long-term memory care and behavioral healthcare facilities are tasked with caring for patients that present a wide-range of cognitive and memory-based challenges. Some patients have issues retaining information, both in the long and short term, while others have trouble understanding what is being conveyed to them by caregivers. These communication gaps and failure to retain information are two challenges that specially designed custom whiteboards are uniquely suited to handle.

Healthcare whiteboards are being implemented in long-term care facilities across the country and are being used to help patients that suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other degenerative diseases that result in the loss of cogitative abilities. While there isn’t a wealth of research on implementing whiteboards into long-term memory and behavioral healthcare units, they still come highly recommended by researchers and physicians. These types of whiteboards are being used as aids for some of the most pressing challenges faced by patients and providers in these settings.

Whiteboards as Memory and Communication Aids

When placed in patient rooms, whiteboards act as a consistent and helpful source of information for patients who may be struggling to remember basic information about themselves and others. Everything from patient names to the names of caregivers, family members, friends, and other important people in the patient’s life can be permanently displayed in their room. Caregivers can also use the whiteboards to display important reminders to patients about their condition and their care, including:

  • Whom to call for assistance and when
  • Meal and medication times
  • The nature and common symptoms of their condition
  • Their room number, telephone number, etc.

 

Caregivers can also use the whiteboards a reminder of important information about the patient, including:

  • Dietary restrictions
  • Allergens
  • Treatment schedules
  • Patient likes and dislikes

 

Patients and their family members can also leave questions and concerns they would like caregivers to address on whiteboards, adding an additional layer of helpful communication between the parties. Increased communication ultimately results in better treatment for patients and higher patient satisfaction rates.

Whiteboards as a Means of Comfort

Everything is fine. Your family is okay. You haven’t upset anyone. No one has moved away. Your meals and your room are paid for. These simple yet powerful statements, and many others like them, can be extremely helpful and comforting to those suffering from memory loss.

Anxiety, depression, and even violent outbursts are normal for dementia and Alzheimer's patients, a main cause of which is forgetting simple information about their lives and those of their loved ones. Patients often feel like they have upset their family members, which is why they are where they are. Others believe that they have been abandoned, that their friends and family have moved away from them. These feelings can lead to confused phone calls to family members, bouts of crying, refusal to eat or bathe, and other negative impacts on a patient’s stay in a facility. Simple messages displayed on a permanent whiteboard fixture in a patient’s room can reduce anxiety and depression and help mitigate their impacts on a patient’s quality of life.

 

Whiteboards can be customized for any behavioral or memory care setting. Discover how VividBoard is leading the way in healthcare whiteboard solutions.