In collaboration with The University of Lincoln, the Memory Lane Project at Canwick House consisted of students from the university volunteering to pair up with our residents in order to provide reminiscence activities and create sensory boards.
The project began in January of this year and wrapped up in May. Students from sports and exercise science, health and social care, social work, nursing and psychology courses volunteered for this project, which was overseen by Rachael Mason and Rachael Hunt, both from The University of Lincoln.
The students devised activities and developed the ‘life stories’ of our residents, culminating in a ‘sensory board’ depicting our residents’ unique and individual histories. Participation in this project was voluntary on both ends, and the helpful staff at Canwick House helped to guide both students and residents in their communal collaboration.
This project was not only successful in the development of sensory boards for our participating residents, but wonderful relationships were developed between the students, the staff and our lovely residents. Additionally, reminiscence work has shown to enhance elderly care, particularly those suffering with dementia. In order to enhance this experience, each participating student was given the opportunity to enrich and customise their reminiscence projects according to participating residents’ preferences and levels of comfort in sharing information about their lives.
Participating residents were allowed to keep their reminiscence projects as a way to allow future employees of Canwick House to have a unique insight into their lives, thereby providing a base for building strong and fruitful relationships.
The project culminated with a special event at Canwick House which celebrated the completion of the sensory boards and at which participating students, residents, staff, and organisers were all present and were able to enjoy the finished sensory boards produced by the hard work of students and residents.