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Memory room to benefit dementia patients

Elaine Findlay and Vivien Ogilvy have a sneak preview of the exhibition and check out vintage cameras which might have taken some of the photographs
Elaine Findlay and Vivien Ogilvy have a sneak preview of the exhibition and check out vintage cameras which might have taken some of the photographs

A new project aimed at helping people with memory loss and dementia is set to open at Kirriemuir Connections on Monday.

The community hub which serves as the base for the Dementia Friendly Kirriemuir Project, will play host to a permanent exhibition of memorabilia from yesteryear which aims to support people with memory loss.

Sandy Jamieson, Chair of the Kirriemuir Heritage Trust said: “This ‘Memory Room’, was conceived and created by members of the Kirriemuir Heritage Trust.

“As a trust we endeavour to protect, record and celebrate the heritage of Kirriemuir and the surrounding district, and we hope that the vintage photographs on display, which show many images of the town over the last century, including group photographs of local schools and other societies will reawaken memories of old Kirriemuir.”

The hub already assists people living with dementia and their carers to get advice, support and form new friendships, and works with a number of other partners, including Alzheimer Scotland and the Angus Carer’s Centre.

People with dementia do not always have the same level of sensory stimulation that others enjoy through daily activities, and the project aims to help deliver this stimulation in a gentle way.

Angus Provost Ronnie Proctor said “Having been involved with the Kirriemuir Heritage Trust for some time, it is a great honour and privilege to be asked to formally open the dementia sufferer’s memories room.

“I am certain that the room will be a great help and an asset to those who suffer from dementia in all its forms.

“I know that day-to-day items from the 50s and 60s such as biscuit tins, old telephones and sewing machines, along with  pictures, photographs, visual recordings, music and sounds can help sufferers have some recall on memories from their past and give them some enjoyment.

“For example, music by Andy Stewart, Jimmy Shand and George Gershwin can do wonders, and to relatives, it can sometimes seem as though a person with dementia is back to their old self.

“This in turn is of benefit to family members and carers who will notice the benefit to their loved ones or those who are in their care.”

Organisers hope that the venture will benefit users of Kirrie Connections, visitors and residents of the town, and the exhibition will be changed and updated regularly.

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