PICTURES of everything from Coventry market in the 1980s to a visit from the Queen Mother and George VI are stimulating memories at a care home thanks to a collaboration with a city museum.
The Willows care home in Westminster Road, Earlsdon, linked up with Coventry Culture to reproduce a series of photographs on display at the Coventry Transport Museum in a bid to whisk residents back to days gone by and, ultimately, slow down the onset of dementia.
Stacey Bains from Coventry Culture, which manages the transport museum as well as the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and Lunt and Roman Fort, said the idea was part of a programme organised by the trust which focuses on the health and well-being of older people and those with dementia.
“It is not possible for care homes to bring all their residents to our museums, so we wanted to bring the museum to them,” she said. “We approached The Willows to trial the concept of ‘bringing the museum to the care home’ and as a forward-thinking home that likes to inspire, they loved the idea, seeing the potential and benefits these photographs could bring to people with dementia.
“We took a series of prints of photographs of historical Coventry over to the home and they ran a workshop session so the residents could choose which ones they liked best from the kind of feelings they had when they looked at them. The ones they chose were reproduced onto canvases and are now up all around the home and look fantastic.”
The photos chosen by residents include pictures of Coventry city centre and the market, car manufacturing factories, buses, historical buildings, libraries, church hall parties, a visit to Coventry by the Queen Mother and George VI and mum and baby groups.
Home manager Bev Jones said: “When I first saw these photos, I knew we were onto something. They have bought a new energy to the home and created a talking point between the residents, staff and families. In turn, the residents have been telling their own stories, which are inspired by these photos. It keeps residents active both physically and mentally and strengthens their relationship with their families and other residents. I felt it was so important that they chose the photos which they liked and were meaningful to them, rather than us choosing for them.”
For more information on the Bringing the Museum to the Care Home, visit www.culturecoventry.com.