Living Memories

Archive films trigger reminiscence by dementia patients.

Using unique UK social and industrial history archive film of the 1940s-60s we are creating reminiscence resources on DVD, to aid viewing and reminiscence with dementia patients.


Dementia – The Background Dementia is the term given to a collection of symptoms that contribute to various different brain disorders. The symptoms are caused by disease or physical injury to the brain and make up the progressive condition known as Dementia. There are currently over 850,000 dementia sufferers in the UK, with 670,000 family and friends acting as primary carers. By 2021 it is forecast that there will be over one million people in the UK with dementia.   About our Living Memories Reminiscence Project Triggering early memories of dementia patients and older people is the purpose of our ongoing “Living Memories” series of DVDs each with 48 page Reminiscence Guide, which are being published in September 2014. Among the first topics to be covered will be home and work life, as well as leisure activities.  Frequently carers are at a loss to know how to engage with the dementia patient, yet it is often possible to stimulate their minds with still and moving images of locations and objects familiar to them from their childhood and teenage years. To provide such stimulation for dementia patients and carers meeting in Memory Cafés, residential homes and individual patients living in their own homes, we shall be using a unique collection of archive programmes and images from the decades after WW2 on a wide variety of subjects which are rich in nostalgia. The interaction and recall, which our “Living Memories” series provide, can lead to informative conversations and reminiscences and open up topics, which can be returned to in the future. Such mental activity is beneficial for the patient’s health and wellbeing and can ease the stress of the carer too. With the cooperation of the NHS and other organisations we have tested our resources with patients and carers in Memory Cafes, care homes and other locations and have received very positive feedback and encouragement.

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