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Nursing News - Nursing home builds real-life 1950s memory lane to help dementia patients

Posted on 2/10/2018 by

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Nursing home builds real-life 1950s memory lane to help dementia patients


For older people, and in particular those suffering from dementia, a metaphorical trip down memory lane can be an effective form of therapy.

Now a nursing home has gone one step further by building the real thing.

From Wednesday, residents at the Five Rise Nursing Home in Bingley can take a stroll down an artificial street designed to resemble how the West Yorkshire town looked in the 1950s.

The “Coronation Street-style” parade of shops is made up of outlets which the patients, most of of whom have some degree of dementia, may remember from their youth.

This includes the Seven Dials Barbers, Bingley Grocers and an old fashioned Post Office complete with period weighing scales.

The scene even comes with an authentic vintage car and motorbike parked on the recreated street.

Meanwhile the “bus stop” accurately resembles its real-life predecessor and is faithful to the detail of the original down to the exact routes and timings listed on the sign.

The 67-bed home, which cost £6m, is the brainchild of twin brothers Danny and Damien Holt.

The latter, a psychiatric nurse, said: “People with advanced dementia can have very complex needs and we know how vital it is to provide plenty of mental stimulation in a safe, modern environment.

“Many of our residents have lived around Bingley for years.

“They remember it as it was.

"The purpose of our memory lane is to provide an attractive and interesting destination for the people we care for, offering reminiscence therapy to improve the psychological well being and quality of life for our residents."

A common effect of dementia is the impairment of short-term memory while the long-term memory stays unaffected.

Often a patient will believe themselves to be in their 20s or 30s, with the accompanying feeling they need to perform tasks and stay busy.

"The bus stop works by allowing the person to sit and wait for their trip home before quickly forgetting why they were there in the first place,” said Mr Holt.

"Residents can sit freely at the bus stop, feeling a sense of purpose.

"Also Care staff can use this as a therapeutic tool in distracting the person until their anxieties are eliminated."

The commitment to recreate the past continues inside the nursing home, including corridor walls decorated in historical photographs of roads in nearby villages, while the activities centre has been done up to resemble a 1950s pub.

Despite the lavish attention to detail, the fees charged by the home are “comparable” to nearby competitors, the co-owner said, typically between £750 and £950 a week.

Reminiscence therapy involves encouraging a patient to talk about events from their past, usually involving the use of props such as photographs, possessions or music.

Evidence suggests this can improve patient’s mood and welbeing.

Earlier this year a digital memory book in the form app called Book of You was rolled out which allows users to digitally compile their life story using spoken or written word, pictures, music and films, in order to help stimulate memories.

Source: Telegraph