Creatively Engaging Patients with Care Kits


What are care kits and how do they help?A group of four people smiling in a hallway

Care kits are filled with items a care provider may give a patient to assist with cognitive stimulation or engagement. In some cases, patients may have a loss of memory, vision changes, an inability to control language or impulses, or they may just be bored. The kits include activities that can help improve a patient’s day to day interactions with their caregivers and their overall care experience.

Care kits include items like:

  • Baby dolls
  • Boxed/wooden puzzles
  • Coloring sheets
  • Deck of cards
  • Journals
  • Package of markers or colored pencils
  • Play Doh™
  • Pop-It fidget toy
  • Puzzle book
  • Radio and batteries
  • Rest and relaxation kit (eye mask and ear plugs)
  • Stress ball

Care kits also include an “All About Me” questionnaire. It’s a communication tool staff members may use with patients diagnosed with cognitive issues, such as those who are at risk for developing delirium (a state of confusion related to post-surgery pain or infection common in a hospital setting), or dementia. Once completed, with assistance from a family member, it can help care providers may learn more about a patient’s likes, dislikes and interests if they are unable to clearly communicate these preferences themselves.

Kits are located in the emergency department as well as on all three in-patient care floors and in the intensive care unit. They are refilled and refreshed by Volunteer Services each week.

The care kit program was made possible by a $10,000 grant from Covenant Health’s Marguerite d’Youville Fund. Additionally, this grant funded a Positive Approach to Care (PAC) training, which helps caregivers better understand, communicate with and care for people living with dementia.

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