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Footage of 20th century Scotland used to help recall memories in dementia patients

Film from the 20th century is being used to help dementia patients

Film from the 20th century is being used to help dementia patients

  • by NATALIE WALKER
 

ARCHIVE films of everyday life in 20th century Scotland are being used to trigger memories in people with dementia and help in their care.

The colourful and entertaining footage has been provided by The National Library of Scotland and is being given to family carers and staff in residential homes to help them engage with people with dementia .

The clips have been compiled onto one DVD called The Journey of Life, which celebrates key moments from childhood and school days, courtship and marriage, work life, home life, holidays and leisure across Scotland from the 1930s onwards.

Professor June Andrews, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University which helped compile the DVDs, said: “These brilliant films are ideal for stimulating conversations and laughter.

“Remembering childhood, school, jobs, friends and holidays can all be topics for enjoyable and beneficial conversations. It can help people with dementia improve their self esteem and give them a sense of value and belonging. It can also help to reduce anxiety and agitation.

Doctors say many memories from years ago often remain intact in people with dementia and recalling these memories can be immensely therapeutic and enjoyable for them.

Ruth Washbrook, senior curator at NLS’s Scottish Screen Archive said: “The entertainment and educational potential of the archive is immense and it’s fantastic that by simply changing how we present our footage it can bring so many advantages and personal benefits to viewers.

“This enables the elderly and people with memory impairment to see some of our distinctive archive material while also encouraging them to reminisce about their own lives, share experiences and socially interact.“

 

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