Thanks For The Memories

A Forth Valley hospital is appealing for memorabilia to give patients with dementia the chance to step back in time. A newly decorated room in Unit 4 at Falkirk Community Hospital already contains items from retro luggage and wedding dresses to kitchen equipment, all of which is designed to help older people re-live their memories. But other items are still needed, particularly those interesting to men, possibly sports related. Staff are also appealing for men and women’s clothing from the 1960s, 70s and 80’s.

NHS Forth Valley Charge Nurse Margaret Campbell decided to re-decorate the room with items from the past in a bid to spark patients interest and help people feel more comfortable in what to them, would be remembered as familiar surroundings. It is hoped the makeover will also encourage social interaction.

 The design was the brainchild of former Year 6 pupils from the Art Department at Falkirk High School, who were invited to submit ideas by Staff Nurse Helen Fraser and chose the words of famous songs as their theme. Song lyrics also featured on a new mural which the teenagers painted on one of the walls in the newly decorated room.

Helen Fraser explained: “It’s remarkable that many patients with moderate dementia can talk about their childhood and early adulthood with perfect clarity. These kind of props revive these memories and encourage patients to reminisce about their past. It will hopefully be an environment people find friendly and familiar. Research suggests reminiscence can reduce stress and generally improve the mood and well-being of those with dementia.”

 To say thank you for all their hard work, the former Falkirk High pupils were invited back to the ward and presented with thank-you cards and gift vouchers.

 Anyone who has items which they wish to donate can contact or phone Unit 4 at Falkirk Community Hospital on 01324 673504.