Fiona Gardens, Trafford Housing Trust’s Extra Care scheme in Sale, has opened a new ‘Reminiscence Room’ to help tackle dementia which affects over 850,000 people in the UK.
Transporting residents back in time, the Reminiscence Room replicates a 1950’s living room and is designed to provide a familiar space where people living with dementia can relax and connect with the past. The newly renovated space features items from the era, including a stereogram to play records, a sewing machine, typewriter and furniture donated from local residents. Even the wallpaper was aged to look authentic and complete the experience.
82-year-old resident Joy Fawkes, who lives at Fiona Gardens, says: “The Reminiscence Room is beautifully decorated and a nice place to sit and think. It reminds me of my childhood home and has a sewing machine just like the one my mum used to take up the hems on my dresses. The radiogram brings back fond memories of the one which used to hold all my dad’s records.”
Rodger Cairns, Assistant Director at the Trust’s independent living service, TrustCare, says: “We’re always looking at innovative ways to support our customers living with dementia and will be including a Reminiscence Room or area in each of our sheltered schemes over the next 12 months. The Trust also plans to introduce Memory Cafés across Trafford as a welcoming space for people with dementia and their family and carers, while partnering with specialist dementia organisations to provide information about their services.
“We also offer GPS tracking monitors as part of our Alert and Response telecare service to provide peace of mind for friends and family of those living with dementia who are at risk of wandering.”
TrustCare has committed itself to helping tackle dementia by having 25 members of staff trained as Dementia Friends Champions through the Alzheimer’s Society to help spread awareness and promote inclusion for people living with dementia.
The Reminiscence Room is open to Fiona Gardens’ 71 residents and their families as well as the local community who are free to enjoy the facility, with plans to hold regular reminiscence sessions using stories, music and even smells from the era, such as popular ladies perfume.
Fiona Gardens is part of Trafford Housing Trusts supported housing offer, which includes nineteen sheltered schemes and two Extra Care schemes, offering self-contained apartments for over 55s with on-site care and amenities.