Supported by Herts Healthy Homes and in partnership with Lowewood Museum, Vision 4 Growth worked as sensory loss consultants on this unique project for Broxbourne residents.  Dementia is a growing impairment which affects 1 in 9 people.  The estimation of this figure is set to increase drastically over the next few years.  Even within this group of 12 volunteers, everyone had come into contact with at least one person affected by dementia.

A selection of local groups, care homes and housing association staff were engaged to look at various aspects of past years from 1920-1980.  Objects were to reflect certain life events such as holidays, working days for men and women, household objects and seasonal celebrations.  Care was taken to reflect cultural demographics along with a range of age categories.

The group was explained how important it is to stimulate both long-term and short-term memory.  How simple objects or pictures can stimulate sensation, sounds, smells or a vivid memory.  Care and consideration was made to try to obtain genuine objects or to age modern equivalents to ensure authentication wherever possible.  There was much laughter as hats and gloves were modelled and puppets from a Punch and Judy show were preformed.

Touch and smell were discussed as sensory stimulants, this was re-enacted in the familiar smell of a wooden childs’ pencil case or an empty box of soap.  There was sand in a bag to feel inside a bucket and a rubix cube to attempt.  Everyday objects such as coins were placed in purses or wallets and marbles or small toys in a small tin to simulate how they would have been presented.

This project engaged a number of Vision 4 Growth volunteers.  In April 2015, the project was launched from Lowewood Museum where boxes can be hired free of charge for Broxbourne residents.   xxxadd lowewood museum tel number