A reminiscence resource pack has been shown to have a range of benefits according to user feedback.
The pack, called Memory Bank, was developed by the Yorkshire Film Archive, and can be used by carers, activity co-ordinators and occupational therapists in reminiscence sessions. It contains archive film footage to stimulate happy and positive memories among older people and those living with dementia.
Memory Bank was developed in response to a growing demand for new resources to support older people experiencing a range of challenges ranging from isolation, low mood and anxiety, to memory loss or poor communication due to ageing or health-related problems such as dementia.
Occupational therapists, care workers, activities coordinators, and family support groups were seeking visually engaging resources that could be used informally, for shared entertainment and enjoyment, or as part of more structured reminiscence therapy and life story work.
User feedback findings show that Memory Bank encourages participation and helps create feelings of wellbeing among those taking part in the sessions. It also improves communication and understanding between care home staff and residents.
Sue Howard, director of Memory Bank, said “We interviewed a cross-section of around 25% of organisations who have bought Memory Bank in the year since it was launched and 100% of them found it to be beneficial.”
Respondents included those from care homes, dementia support groups, hospitals, home care organisations and council managers.
Care provider MHA is one of the organisations that have been using Memory Bank. Jane Earl, MHA’s service improvement adviser, said: “Memory Bank is particularly beneficial as a trigger to unlock memories.
“As well as making individuals feel happier and calmer, this can also provide some ‘common ground’ that they can use to talk to other people.”