The Memory Technology Resource Room (MTRR) network was formally launched in 2018 and includes twenty-five MTRRs operating across Ireland. These MTRRs showcase a wide range of Assistive Technologies (ATs), and provide assessment and guidance on how different types of low-tech and higher-tech equipment may be helpful in addressing the needs of people with dementia, their care partners and other family members.
Most MTRRs are led by Occupational Therapists (OT) who ensure a broader assessment of client needs and provide advice on non-technological approaches and solutions that may be helpful, including signposting and onward referral. In 2019 the MTRR network supported over 1,800 people. People using the service and their care partners/family members overwhelmingly provide very positive feedback on the usefulness of their MTRR visit and the value of the information and advice in helping them manage their dementia.
Findings from a recent evaluation of the programme (Cullen, 2020) show that:
- MTRR staff emphasise the value of a service offering a consultation in an informal environment, led by experienced OTs with the skillset required to holistically assess a broad spectrum of presenting needs and provide practical advice.
"Very, very nice environment and covered a lot of points that I am struggling in" (Person who has used the service)
- People who use the service and staff note the value of both the AT-related dimension of the service and the wider attention to other forms of support for client needs, such as advice on maintaining meaningful occupation and on how to address responsive behaviours.
"I found it very illuminating and helpful and gave me confidence" (Person who has used the service)
“They helped me identify my strengths” (Person who has used the service)
- Both people who use the service and staff also point to the important role that the MTRR service plays in filling a key gap in existing care pathways, especially in the short-term after an initial dementia diagnosis but also as needs change over time and as the person’s dementia progresses.
“I feel I am getting somewhere now following [the] diagnosis” (Person who has used the service)