Care home in appeal for vintage items

An artist impression of Eothen Homes' proposed new development in Wallsend.
An artist impression of Eothen Homes' proposed new development in Wallsend.

A new dementia care home is appealing for help in creating a unique reminiscence area for residents.

Eothen Homes’ specialist centre in Wallsend, due to open next spring, will include an outside area equipped with objects to help spark happy memories and provide meaningful activity.

Reminiscing is important to people with dementia because often their short term memory has faded and it is their long term memories that stay with them.

Operations manager, Christine Hardy

The charity is particularly looking for an old-style touring caravan and a vintage car to help evoke memories of holidays and fun times.

Operations manager, Christine Hardy, said: “Reminiscing is important to people with dementia because often their short-term memory has faded and it is their long-term memories that stay with them.

“People with dementia can lose a lot of their logic and reliance on fact and instead rely on their feelings. Going back and reminiscing can bring back good memories.

“In a lot of instances, they can’t come into our world, so it’s about us getting into theirs.”

The idea of an old caravan is to help people relive memories of family holidays, while an old car will help them remember days out. Neither have to be roadworthy because they won’t be leaving the grounds.

The new home has been designed to provide non-traditional residential care which is focused on meeting the needs of people with dementia in a safe, secure and family-oriented environment.

The building will be divided into four households, each containing 13 large en-suite bedrooms, a lounge and an open-plan kitchen area.

There will be a sensory garden, with birds, animals and plants for residents to enjoy too.

Eothen is also looking for donations of vintage objects to spark memories inside the home, such as old weighing scales and baking tools for the kitchen.

Mrs Hardy said: “It will be important to find out the life history of our residents and have things that are relevant to them.

“That might be an old typewriter or phone if they worked in an office, or an old-style calculator if they worked as an accountant for example.

“We’d be grateful if local people or businesses could help with any of these types of objects, whether big or small.”

Anyone who can help with the appeal for an old car, caravan or other vintage objects can contact Mrs Hardy at Eothen’s Head Office on (0191) 281 9100 or by email at enquiries@eothenhomes.org.uk

For more information, please visit www.eothenhomes.org.uk