How vintage film clips are getting people with dementia reminiscing

Living Memories is a community interest community (CIC) which produces DVDs containing a variety of film clips from the 1940s to 1960s that help elderly people and those living with dementia to talk and connect with their families and carers.

The archive film clips are taken from 35mm and 16mm film prints. These include documentaries, information films and commercials covering social and industrial history of that era. Used in Memory Cafes and care homes, they've found that people developing dementia are very interested in looking at the film and engaging in conversation relating to the film clips and are very happy when they relate memories of their own and often one story leads to another and to a lively, enjoyable reminiscence session for both the people with dementia and their carers.

Noelle Ingham is an 82-year-old great grandmother who volunteers at a memory café for people with dementia in her hometown of Colyton, Devon. The Tea & Memories group invites older local residents to meet once a month to watch unique archive programmes from the 1940s to 1960s and reminisce about them. Noelle helps with publicity, welcomes the guests and makes sure no one is left on their own. The group is proving to be a great success and is being promoted by the NHS Social Prescribing Nurse. They’ve also just won a Transform Ageing Aspire Award to enable them to start Tea & Memories groups in East Devon. They’re also planning Pop Up Read & Memories groups in isolated communities across Devon.

Noelle says: “Volunteering has just become a habit. My granny used to say you have to treat others as you’d like to be treated and put in to the pot what you take out. It’s a cliché but you’re never too old to volunteer, or try something new. You never know what doors it’s going to open, what new friends you will meet, what opportunities will come up. I certainly don’t plan to stop any time soon.”

Contact: Brian Norris - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 01297 552358

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