Last week the Library and Knowledge Service visited West Kirby Library to launch the Reminisce project, which aims to improve dementia care across Wirral.
The Library team treated guests to 50s fancy dress and live music from yesteryear as local care home residents revelled in the retro household items and memorabilia on display.
The event, launched in partnership with Wirral Council, and attended by Wirral Alzheimer’s Society and the Older People’s Parliament, was a huge success and the team are now excited to introduce ‘Reminiscence Boxes’ in our hospitals and at local libraries.
Victoria Treadway, Library and Knowledge Service Lead, said of the launch:
“It was like Christmas, with the residents’ faces lighting up as they recognised items from their youth.
The day really couldn’t have gone any better and it was reassuring for us to clearly see how this project is going to help people both in the community and in our hospitals.
The project is a great example of partnership working between the hospital and the council to support people living with dementia in Wirral.”
Throughout the summer the team have been collecting everyday items donated by hospital staff and generous members of the public.
Last week’s launch featured ten different Reminiscence boxes, including childhood toys, board games, crafts sets, beauty products from previous decades and local memorabilia.
24 boxes will be available for the public to loan from Wirral’s central libraries in West Kirby, Birkenhead, Bebington and Wallasey. The McArdle Library in the Education Centre at Arrowe Park Hospital will house the other six boxes, which staff can use to deliver better patient care.
The Reminiscence Box project is part of the Dementia Strategy launched by the Trust earlier this year.
Dementia Matron Margaret Davies said:
“We have always been great at offering the best possible medical treatment to our patients. But it is equally important to recognise the person as well as the diagnosis.
“Our new Dementia Strategy is all about doing the right thing for our patients and a big part of that is creating the most appropriate environment to make them feel comfortable.
“The Reminiscence boxes will be a valuable addition to the way we deliver dementia care as the old items instantly help to create a dementia-friendly environment on the ward.”
The team are planning to have three times as many Reminiscence boxes in circulation by this time next year and so are calling on all hospital patients, visitors and staff to donate any vintage items.
To find out more about the Reminiscence Box project and how to donate, please contact Library and Knowledge Service Lead Victoria Treadway on ext. 8608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria Treadway, Library & Knowledge Service Manager, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust