‘Reminiscence Journeys’ – a new, joint venture, supported by The Maudsley Charity

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Age Exchange are forming a special partnership, to pilot a unique project offering reminiscence training and tools to staff and relatives on two Inpatient services. We’ll be working within Chelsham House at the Bethlem Royal Hospital, and Greenvale Specialist Care Unit in Streatham.

The aim is to develop therapeutic reminiscence arts activity as part of planned care. Age Exchange will provide person-centred reminiscence arts trainers to work alongside staff and relatives. Key staff in each service will be trained to offer reminiscence as part of delivering compassionate care. Training will involve incorporating meaningful creative reminiscence activities into planned daily care, based on individual patient preference, need and life history. Staff will be further enabled to meet the needs of older people with dementia through developing their skills in individualised assessment and development of therapeutic activity. Relatives will be supported and trained in the use of reminiscence tools so that at discharge they will have something to go away with, to support them in future caring; whether that be at home, or in a care setting.

The project will better support existing JOAP work and will help to translate the experiences back to the wards more effectively, continuously engaging staff in the work. The project will create and provide bespoke materials relating to the localities/ lives of those on the wards. Equipment such as iPads will be available to access information. This will enable care staff to quickly find images/music and sound e.g, garden birdsong relevant to the reminiscence work they are undertaking.

Age Exchange Artistic Director David Savill says “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with excellent care professionals at SLAM and to support them in their own professional development, enriching the care they provide for older people with dementia”.