Take a Memory Selfie and raise awareness for dementia

Staff, relatives and residents of Barchester Healthcare are joining the social media revolution in aid of Dementia Awareness Week (18 to 24 May) by taking Memory Selfies to highlight the importance of finding a cure for dementia.

Barchester Activities Co-ordinator, David Procter, and Sarah Birkett, the daughter of a Barchester resident, decided they wanted to tell as many people as possible, from all age groups, about this year’s Dementia Awareness Week, so that one day a cure for dementia will be found.  With the support of Barchester Healthcare, they are seeking to get people to share their Memory Selfies – selfies including a note about their favourite memory on Facebook and Twitter.

David explains: "The idea is to think of a meaningful memory that you could never imagine forgetting.  Losing the ability to remember is confusing for the person with dementia and heart-breaking for family and friends who watch it happen.  My most treasured memory is the birth of my very special nephews.  Yours might be your relationship with your mother, a favourite sport or your childhood pet.”

David works with residents living with dementia and uses reminiscence through activities. He ensures that each resident has a thorough and in depth life story in place so that the staff at the home can spend quality time with each individual.  The life story work gives staff a great insight into each person’s history and character, enabling staff to build relationships with residents and those close to them quickly.

Sarah’s father, Danny Birkett, 64, was diagnosed with dementia in 2007 and has been living at a Barchester care home since 2012. Danny has always held his family dearly to his heart so his favourite thing to do is spend time with them. Danny’s other favourite hobby is listening to singer Charlie Pride, which he used to listen to all the time very loudly!

Sarah said: “My father is very special to me and I wanted to do something for him and anyone else who develops dementia in the future. One day I hope we can eradicate this very sad and complex disease. My Memory Selfie is about amazing holidays as a child with my father, mother, sister and brother in the South of France. They were always so much fun and have blessed me with memories of my father that I'll treasure forever.”

To create a Memory Selfie, download and print the official template here. This is ready made with "Text CURE to 70555 to donate £5.00”.  Write your special memory onto the template and take your selfie with your memory displayed to the camera.Tweet the photo or post it on your Facebook with the hashtag #ForgetMeNot and keep your memories alive by nominating your friends to do the same.

Together let's make a difference to the lives of people living with dementia and help the Alzheimer's Society find a cure.