Dementia awareness programme tackles social isolation with tablet loans

House of Memories, National Museums Liverpool’s dementia awareness programme, has launched a new tablet loan scheme with the aim of tackling social, financial, and digital exclusion.

The Connect My Memories service equips older people, families, unpaid carers, and community workers and volunteers who may not have access to resources with the equipment and skills to learn to use mobile technology.

Digital training workshops introduce people to the My House of Memories app, which has more than 35,000 downloads and is designed to help trigger people’s memories of the past, using museum objects and people’s own images.

Carol Rogers MBE, Director of House of Memories, said: ‘If you are living with dementia, life is that little bit better if you have a caring community around you that is working to help find ways for you to live well.

‘While of course we hope there will soon be a cure for dementia and that clinically more can happen to support people, we hope that Connect my Memories and all of our work at House of Memories can build connections and give a sense of wellbeing that is of great benefit to those living with dementia in the community.

‘We were able to make Connect My Memories a reality with funding from the Big Give Christmas Challenge, Medicash, The Geoffrey and Pauline Martin Trust, The Ravensdale Trust, The Rimmer Memorial Charitable Trust, The Castanea Trust, FPC and Anchor Hanover.’

Tommy Dunne BEM is a former railway manager, who now participates in the tablet loan service and raises awareness of dementia.

He said: ‘I think Connect My Memories is one of the greatest ideas I’ve heard for people living with dementia in the past 10 years. People think that we can’t use tech, but we’re just not given the chance. Some people can’t afford tablets, but people just assume that we don’t know how to use them.

‘House of Memories is not only going to loan you the tablet, but they also provide training on how to use it, which I know will be carried out in a way that my peers and those in the caring profession will understand. This isn’t just a loan service, this is a gift of life. It’s not often you get the opportunity to help give people their life back and help prevent social isolation – which we know is one of the biggest killers.’

In related news, 16% of people in the UK say they are considering using a food bank this Christmas, according to a survey carried out by Censuswide on behalf of the Big Give.

Photo by Gareth Jones, courtesy of National Museums Liverpool


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