Our venues

Housing people's memories

Posted on Monday 7th October 2013
Picture of a smiling elderly man with a nurse

© Pete Carr

Housing Associations join with National Museums Liverpool to become more dementia-aware

National Museums Liverpool’s pioneering House of Memories training programme is to work with four leading housing associations to increase awareness and understanding of dementia.

The House of Memories has partnered with Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH), Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT), the Regenda Group and Riverside, to empower their workforce, tenants, neighbourhoods and local communities to gain awareness of dementia and develop a deeper understanding of people living with dementia.

The programme, which has been working successfully with the health and social care sector for more than a year, provides participants with practical skills and resources to support those living with dementia, to live well.

This latest development for the project will see staff from housing associations attend training sessions geared specifically to situations and scenarios that can occur in their daily work concerning people living with dementia.

National Museums Liverpool recognises that museums are expert at recording and caring for people’s memories – whether they are thousands of years old or within ‘living memory’. Museums enable people to explore and connect with their personal history and engage in relevant and meaningful cultural activity. To acknowledge and understand an individual’s personal history and memory is of great value and significance, and this is the root of the House of Memories training.

Carol Rogers, Executive Director of Education and Communities at National Museums Liverpool said: “The aim of the House of Memories programme is to inform and help people understand dementia and its effect on people’s lives and wellbeing. In providing this training, we hope to help people help others who are living with dementia, making their lives easier, happier and more integrated into their communities.

“Working with housing associations and providers is so important, because older people make up a substantial proportion of the tenant population living in social housing. It is a fact that one in three people over 65 will have dementia by the time they reach the end of their life, so we all have to work harder at every level to make sure they feel secure in their living situations.”

More than 86,000 people in the North West region are currently diagnosed with dementia. 800,000 people in the UK are now living with dementia and an estimated 21 million people know someone with dementia – that’s 42% of the population.

This new House of Memories programme has been developed in consultation with the housing association partners’ requirements, and geared specifically to the challenges facing the housing workforce, tenants, families and carers to support those living with dementia.

Working with AFTA Thought training consultants, the House of Memories programme is practical and interactive, using drama to present factual information about dementia to help participants understand the experience of living with dementia.

Stephanie Harrison, Executive Director of the Regenda Group said: “We have a range of residents, some with very complex needs, who require a little more support than others. Their wellbeing is of great importance and it’s vital that we provide the extra support needed to help people manage in their own home.

“Working with the House of Memories project is of great value to us in developing our skills and awareness to help those residents who live with dementia, and reassure them that they have a support network and community around them that can help.”

For further information about the House of Memories and training opportunities, please email

learning@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk|

or call 0151 478 4240.

www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/houseofmemories|

Additional quotes:

Riverside Housing 

Ed Hughes, Riverside’s Performance Manager, said: “The impact of an ageing population means that many more of us are experiencing the devastating effects of dementia. The House of Memories is one of a number of projects Riverside is involved in to help older people to live more independently.

“Other projects include LiveTime, which which encourages elderly people to be more active in their communities to stay healthy and avoid isolation.  Live Time Coordinators also promote activity days that promote dementia awareness and offers support to those that need it. Riverside also support the Alzheimer’s Society and have raised almost £32,000 for the charity since last April.”

Liverpool Mutual Homes

Angela Forshaw, Director of Housing and Customer Services at Liverpool Mutual Homes said “The health and wellbeing of our customers remains a key priority for us. The House of Memories programme provides a great opportunity to increase understanding around dementia and complements our work to promote involvement and understanding around wellbeing issues.”

Knowsley Housing Trust

Martina Daly, Director of Customer Service and Customer Support at KHT said: “The House of Memories is a fantastic project that allows our staff to develop the necessary skills in helping tenants who live with dementia.

“We can then provide a better service to those tenants and ensure that we provide any extra help and support, making their lives easier and happier.”

Notes to editors

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract more than 3 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool,  World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.