According to the Alzheimers Society “Most people with dementia remember their distant past more clearly than recent events. This is because memories tend to decline in reverse order to when they were experienced. People will often have difficulty remembering what happened a few minutes or hours ago, but can recall, in detail, life when they were much younger. Using visits to their former places of work has proven to be an effective part of their treatment
People with dementia are often understandably anxious about forgetting their past. This is particularly concerning in the early stages of the condition. Those around them can try to provide opportunities to share memories by looking at photographs, letters and souvenirs or by visiting former places of employment together. This can help jog the person's memory, and may help them feel more calm and in control. Talking about the past can be enjoyable for the person with dementia. It may also help the person retain their sense of who they are.”
This Echoesquest will help the Heritage professional set up a program for people with Dementia, including former workers at the site when it was in production or workers at similar sites.
There are many heritage institutions who run successful sessions for persons with dementia. The objects from their collections are used to reminiscence, to engage, to make connections. These sessions are tailored to the institution and their collections.
The task of this Echoesquest is research examples of good practice and to then develop a program and activities for engaging with people with Dementia for your institution:
Develop programs for health professionals, care workers, heritage professionals and family members in use of your post-industrial heritage site and its collections to play an active role in supporting people with dementia and other memory diseases, through reviving memories and thereby inhibiting the effects
Your training program will include:
- training material with exercises and trainer notes
- collecting videos, links and other web based material
- a program of events, visits specific for your institution