Thanks to Allen Power for this link to a BBC news story about a Care Home in Wiltshire. There is a video as well as the news story itself, and if you have a few minutes it is well worth having a look. Most of us will have contact with Care Homes at some stage in our lives, either through a relative, work or indeed our own long-term care.
I have been one of those who visited relatives and felt so helpless, especially in the case of my Granny who had dementia. Then, later on in life as a Parish Minister I was a regular visitors to Homes in my area. At Christmas time it was easy to judge the strength of the care in any given Care Home. At one place I visited there was dancing, entertainment, community singing and all sorts of laughter. People joined in and it was lively and bright.
Sometimes it was a pleasure visiting residents, sometimes it was challenging, often I felt useless, not knowing how to connect. In time I learned that any link to the past could often provoke an amazing response, and the old-old (as against the young-old like me) frequently had a connection with Bible Stories, prayers and hymns from their childhood.
The Marlborough Care Home has instituted a memory room focused on the 1950s where residents can sit and remember, prompted by artefacts, books, magazines, old radio streaming and best of all, help from staff and each other. I was interested in the video to see telephones, electrical appliances and other domestic items that I vividly remember using, and can well imagine how being able to see them, touch them and talk about them, stimulates older people to link into memories of long ago.
The resident in the video, apparently has severe dementia, but her life has been turned around by the memory room. She leads a much more active life. In addition many residents no longer need the drug regime they once used.
Let me know what you think.