Dementia Awareness Week has been incredibly exciting so far, with lots of brilliant work going on in the city, not least the launch of the new Liverpool Dementia Action Alliance.
In London, there was also the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friendly Community Awards where House of Memories was Highly Commended in the national category – this is a fantastic accolade and we are really thrilled.
However, the highlight for me this week will definitely be the launch of the new My House of Memories app, which is now available for FREE download on iTunes and Google play. We have developed the app with the help of people living with dementia and their carers, through Mersey Care and Innovate Dementia. Although dementia can often affect the short term memory, experiencing sights and sounds from the past can be really evocative, and can help people to reconnect and uncover past experiences. So, the idea behind the app is to share objects from the Museum of Liverpool’s collection, enhanced with music, sound effects and film, to encourage conversation and reminiscence about the past. You can also “collect” your favourite objects on a memory tree, memory box or on a memory line.
Developing the app has been an emotional and powerful journey. The people we worked with all had different levels of experience and ability in terms of technology, and we saw their confidence grow throughout the consultation. By the end we had created an app that people could use independently or with their carers. I think this really comes through in this short film which shows the app in use - in a care and home setting, as a group, and one-to-one. We are also finding that while the app has been devised to be dementia-friendly, it is also a really fun activity, which can be enjoyed by anyone. Please do download it and see what you think.
To round Dementia Awareness Week off, the Liverpool Dementia Action Alliance is running a series of drop-in events at the Museum of Liverpool on Friday. We will be there to demonstrate the app if you would like to pop-in, and there will be a host of other organisations taking part. See you there!