Opening of new Reminiscence Room

Mutton stew and dumplings were on the menu at the launch of our authentic 1950s-style reminiscence room at Rosemary Court last week. Rosemary Court is an extra care housing scheme with 42 self-contained flats for individuals over 50. Fourteen are designed for individuals with mental health needs and our care team provides support 24-hours-a-day.

The new reminiscence room will provide the perfect setting for our staff to hold memory sessions for people with dementia.  Reminiscence work is really important for the wellbeing of people with dementia.  Reminiscing about the past builds on the strengths of a person with dementia as they are more likely to retain long-term memories.

"Involving family and staff members in reminiscence activities too can be a rewarding experience for everyone. It also helps us to find out about people’s life history and experiences so we can develop further activities that they will enjoy".  Said Rachel Yates, Dementia Development Coordinator.

Lynn Carter, our service manager said: “Our new reminiscence room is full of 1940s and 50s furniture and household objects and the pictures on the walls are just like the ones you would find in a home at that time.

Period objects available for handling include gas masks, old records and record players, a 1940s iron, retro tea sets and an original wooden-cased television. The special room also contains old fashioned board games, designed to bring back happy memories of care free younger days.

Much of the 1940s and 50s paraphernalia has been donated by residents, but staff have also been busy looking in local charity and retro shops.

The day was a huge success and enjoyed by everyone. Our staff were dressed to impress in mid-century fashions, and as well as a filling post-war lunch; our tenants enjoyed a good old sing along to their old favourites by entertainer Jean Ogilvie.

 “It is a safe space to transport people living with dementia back to their past and we are looking forward to many happy times spent in this very special new room.” Said Lynn.

Although the room has been designed with Rosemary Court residents in mind, it will be available to voluntary organisations working with individuals with dementia in Darlington. For further information please contact Lynn Carter on 07583 000 899 or lynn.carter@makingspace.co.uk or Susan Gardiner on 01325 354228 or susan.gardiner@darlington.gov.co.uk