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Trips down memory lane could help dementia patients

Trips down memory lane could help dementia patients
18th May 2012

Taking patients with dementia on a trip down memory lane could be key in improving their wellbeing.

Age UK, the Alzheimer's Society, the Methodist Homes for the Aged and the Yorkshire Film Archive (YFA) have teamed up to launch the Memory Bank project, which uses home movies from the past to help people with dementia.

The scheme was set up after 18 months of research into how to bring back the memories of those experiencing cognitive decline.

People with dementia are shown specially selected films from people's home movie collections on topics such as family holidays, work and school.

It has been shown that the archive footage encourages older adults to talk about when they were younger.

A participant in the trial explained that for many people with dementia, the memories still exist but need to be awakened by a trigger and the movies act as one.

Sue Howard, YFA director, said: "Reminiscence therapy and memory work play an invaluable role in improving a sense of personal identity and wellbeing, and stimulating communication and sociability."

Previous studies have also shown that similar activities can help to stimulate old memories, including taking trips to familiar places.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.