A hospital in the North is using sport to help patients suffering from dementia in a form of “reminiscence therapy”.
The Roker ward at Monkwearmouth hospital will provide 14 beds for men aged over 65, and will use football as a meaningful way to connect and engage with dementia patients. Football provides an alternative focus for men who are reluctant to join in other group and reminiscence based activities.
The Sporting Memories Network travel to the ward to work with staff. They help them to develop reminiscence activities that improve the wellbeing of older people and those living with dementia through tapping into the passion, knowledge and love of sport. It is thought that football can be used as a trigger for conversation, debate and reminiscence. Those debates and discussions often focus on recalling favourite players, great victories, away trips and the inevitable defeats.
Through links to the network, the ward have helped to hold a series of events for patients and their families, and publish a weekly “reminiscence newspaper”. This is filled with archive sporting images and match reports for the staff to use for reminiscence.
"It's often difficult to engage older men in meaningful activities," says ward manager Geoff Willis. "But using sporting memories as a framework has worked for us, most clients are keen to share their memories about football. They become animated and passionate and have so much to tell you”.
Original Source The Guardian
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