Scents of the past used to evoke memories at care village


Forest Healthcare-Care Industry NewsThe unique smells of the traditional sweet shop, carbolic soap, rose scent and steam trains are among those being brought to residents at Forest Care Village in Borehamwood as part of a ‘memory’ initiative for those with dementia and recovering from brain injuries. 

In total, residents will be invited to share the memories evoked by over a dozen scent cubes, each filled with a different smell designed to rekindle memories of past times. Alongside pleasant aromas like the spice and brandy-soaked Christmas pudding and salty sea air will be some smells from childhood, such as the antiseptic used to treat grazes and scratches, aniseed balls, traditional rose talc and even fish and chips!

Research shows that the sense of smell is one of the strongest memory triggers, with scientists in the last few weeks identifying how scents prompt activity in several different areas of the brain, so for those struggling with memory, this should be a great way to help them remember past times,” comments Richard Lever, Lifestyles co-ordinator at Forest Care Village. “Alongside the scent cubes, we have an album of old photographs linked to the scents so that we can provide an extra visual prompt – a real ‘smell-o-vision’ experience!”

The scent cubes are just one of the wide range of events and activities for residents of all ages at Forest Care Village, designed to give those using staying in the centre for respite care or long-term nursing care stimulated and entertained. Other activities include regular live music performances in the main lounge, arts and craft activities and even the opportunity for pampering in the beauty salon and barber.

Forest Care Village is one of the largest independent care centres in the UK. It is purpose built, with state of the art facilities including its own physiotherapy suite, gymnasium, music and sensory suite and sensory gardens, designed to meet the wide variety of specialist needs for those requiring long term care and rehabilitation. It is a unique concept in caring, but at the same time is a welcoming, warm and vibrant place to live.


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