A care home in Houghton-le-Spring, which offers specialist care to people with dementia, is appealing to the public for household items from the last 70 years.
The objects will be used in Care UK’s Grangewood home’s new reminiscence room that will help prompt memories in people with dementia. Activities coordinator Jackie Toolin said: “I created a reminiscence trolley that I took round to people. It had common objects from the past that local people would remember, such as a miner’s lamp, a flat iron, a ration book, newspapers and other bits and pieces that people would have seen on a daily basis as they were growing up.”
Jackie’s trolley was a big hit with residents and a help to carers, who try to devise care plans around people’s history and interests. Jackie said: “It is incredible how many memories are triggered by the sight of former household items such as ornaments, old photographs of the area, furniture, radios, crockery, records and clothing.
“For us as care givers, this is invaluable, because we are able to learn a lot more about the person, their past and their interests and that helps us build genuinely individual care around each of our residents. This in turn keeps them active and engaged and helps to maintain life-skills.”
The trolley was such a success that Care UK gave Jackie the go ahead to turn a room at the home in Chester Road into a reminiscence room. Jackie said: “We hope to create the feeling of a parlour-type room where people can sit and relax by themselves or chat with us or their friends and family.
“Everyone likes to be surrounded by the familiar, but this is even more the case for people with dementia – it manages to be comforting and stimulating at the same time and it is an important part of enhancing our residents’ wellbeing.”