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Fartown dementia home launches 1950s memory village

They struggle to remember what they did this morning

1950s dementia village at Abbey Place Care Home, Fartown - Staff Allie Stafford and Andrew Fawcett as Sandy and Danny from 'Grease'
1950s dementia village at Abbey Place Care Home, Fartown - Staff Allie Stafford and Andrew Fawcett as Sandy and Danny from 'Grease'

They struggle to remember what they did this morning.

Now, Huddersfield dementia patients will be able to re-live their happiest memories – thanks to an innovative idea being trialled at a Fartown care home.

A 1950s-style village has been created at Abbey Place Nursing Home to help residents remember their pasts within familiar surroundings.

The colourful scene, set within the home’s gardens, contains everything to transport residents back in time with a 1950s cafe, post office, grocery store, hairdressers, florist shop, library and car garage.

The set, believed to be the first in Yorkshire, marks the start of a new concept in dementia care.

Home manager Phillipa McSkimming said: “We believe that this is unique. There is nothing else quite like it at the moment.

“The village has been put together following a good deal of research and we are confident it will make a massive difference to the well-being of our residents here at Abbey.

“Dementia is a confusing and distressing condition and we are here to do anything we can to help our residents feel happier and enjoy a better quality of life.”

The village is set in safe, enclosed gardens at the home, on Abbey Road, and has been created using genuine items from the 1950s to create an authentic feel.

1950s dementia village at Abbey Place Care Home, Fartown - Residents Stanley Smith and Gillian Tovey outside Post Office
1950s dementia village at Abbey Place Care Home, Fartown - Residents Stanley Smith and Gillian Tovey outside Post Office
 

It is designed to offer residents the chance to wander through the village on a regular basis to give them the chance to recognise familiar objects and feel more secure.

The inspiration for the village came from a similar initiative in the Netherlands, at Hogewey in Weesp, near Amsterdam.

It is based on the principle that dementia sufferers find it difficult to remember what is happening in the present but have very firm memories of their pasts.

By creating settings they can remember, it is hoped residents will feel more secure, reassured, and enjoy a better quality of life.

To celebrate the opening of the new village, a party was held for residents and their families.

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