The Brain-bus has recently been independently evaluated by the University of Stirling. The evaluation examined the effects of the Brain-bus for the people who use it and the staff who support them. The evaluation focused particularly on the effects of the Brain-bus on wellbeing, and collected both quantitative and qualitative data.
- Brain-bus users showed improvements in general health, lower levels of depression, increased mobility and cognition and enhanced interaction and engagement with staff.
- Staff were able to engage with Brain-bus users one-to-one, getting to know them well and therefore being able to support their personal choices of activities on the Brain-bus.
- Brain-bus users chose their preferred activities, and expressed enjoyment of the Brain-bus.
- The Brain-bus activities supported capacity, and users showed learning over the months of the evaluation.
- The musical activities on the Brain-bus were especially popular, and supported individual choice and engagement.
Background to the Brain-bus
The key impetus for the Brain-bus came from evidence regarding the benefits of activities and social engagement for people with dementia living in care homes. The Brain-bus is a single decker bus equipped with IN2L software and touch-screen technology as well as comfortable seating for users. The software permits users to select preferred activities from a huge range of possibilities including music, video, puzzles, games, reminiscence materials, physical activities using an exercise bike or a Wii and communication technologies. The Brain-bus can be moved between locations to enable people living in different care homes to use it. The evaluation focused on its use at one care home.