During our work with those living with Dementia we felt there was a need to create Memory Books for a number of reasons.
We recognised the need to reminisce as a fundamental requirement to living well with Dementia as a way of maintaining communicating with loved ones and carers.
We felt that there was an opportunity to engage with young people who will be the carers of the future in a way which meant students could feel comfortable by taking the Story Tellers “we refer to our older people as Story Tellers” to the School.
We also believe that if any of the Story Tellers were to move into a full time care setting the Memory books would help to form part of their care plan and give the nursing staff some knowledge of the person life which they otherwise maybe unaware of which would go some way towards enabling them to support the person to live well with Dementia.
It was also a way for us to encourage young people to take part in the Prime Ministers & Princes Charles’s Step up to Serve initiative by offering them a chance to volunteer for a project they could do during extension time at school without impacting their school work.
There are clear benefits to having three generations working together on the project , the adult volunteers act as a conduit between the story tellers and the students filling in many of the gaps with their own knowledge of past.
To date we have created sixteen memory books, worked with over sixty students all of whom have become Dementia friends, eleven adult volunteers also Dementia friends.