The Book of Memories project is an idea formulated around the notion that wellbeing is for everyone, including people with dementia and their families. Locally there has been a rise in people contracting the illness, with over 2,000 people over 65 years old estimated to have dementia in Swindon. This is expected to increase by about 700 by 2020.
We at Swindon Libraries are determined to support people with dementia and their families through putting together specially selected historical local photographs, which will be the basis for a set themed books to help stimulate memory recall of growing up in Swindon.
Evidence shows that such work has helped people in a number of ways:
- Helps people recall fond memories of youth, personal interests and pastimes, holiday or working lives
- Inspire conversation with caregivers, children or grandchildren
- Exercise touch and other senses which people increasingly rely on as dementia progresses
- Spur creativity in the desire to add to the memory box, or make a new one
- Give relatives a clearer insight to their loved one, both through searching for keepsakes and talking about them (Alzheimer’s Society)
Swindon Libraries has a wonderful collection of local history resources and we want to put them to good use, with support from our partners in health and the Royal Voluntary Service, to reach, promote and disseminate the memory photo books.