Memory Lane Project at Canwick House in Collaboration with The University of Lincoln

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.

Students from The University of Lincoln working with Canwick House residents on the Memory Lane Project

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.

Many new friendships were formed during the creation of the Memory Lane Project at Canwick House

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.

Golf Days Out: Beneficial for People with Dementia and Their Families

Golf Days Out is the vision of Anthony Blackburn, a care worker with an enthusiasm for golf. For people with dementia and their families, Golf Days Out is an opportunity to have a day of positive social interaction and outdoor activity. It combines so many of the factors that dementia patients are usually missing in their day-to-day lives. Along with their independence, people living with Alzheimer’s Disease can have a tougher time forming new friendships and for their family members, around the clock care can become exhausting.

Golf Days Out then, becomes the weekly venture where golfers with dementia are able to have a day of leisure along with interested local golfers, whom after given a dementia friends training, are able to become “golfing buddies.” The day consists of a full nine holes with team competitions for trophies in which they all can participate. For Golf Days Out, no previous golfing experience is necessary and all players are able to help each other out. Meanwhile, careers form a support group and are given respite from their daily duties.

Danny Walsh, senior lecturer in nursing and Carol Duff, senior lecturer and consultant occupational therapist, both at the University of Lincoln are piloting the scheme at the Lincoln Golf Centre. There, management and members have thoroughly embraced the concept and are adamant supporters.

For  more information on Golf Days Out, contact Anthony Blackburn at golfinsociety@gmail.com

Information for this post was derived from “‘Golf Days Out’ An Innovation in Care and Respite” published in the September/October 2016 Issue of The Journal of Dementia Care (Vol 24 No 5).

Five foods to boost your mood

When it comes to boosting your mood, food is often a source of comfort for us. But did you know that which foods you each can actually affect how you’re feeling? That’s right, so although you might feel that sweets or your favourite packet of crisps will help you feel better, there’s actual foods that can help deliver the nutrition you need to feel better from the inside out.

Here are five of these amazing foods and the reasons why adding them to your balanced diet is sure to boost your mood and make you happier.

1. Dark chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Okay, so maybe your favourite milk chocolate won’t suffice but dark chocolate does in fact have the feel-good promoting factor. It comes from the taste and a chemical called phenylethylamine. As if you needed another excuse to eat chocolate, so bite into a dark chocolate bar and you don’t even have to feel bad about it!

2. Brazil nuts

These are rich in selenium that research shows promote happiness! Just don’t consume the whole packet. Grab a handful of Brazil nuts and enjoy the taste and the feel-good benefits.

3. Peas

Rich in vitamin B1, peas may not scream happiness, but they will help calm your nerves. Fill up on mashed peas and do so knowing that they’re not only good for you, but they’ll make you feel better too.

4. Brown rice

Brown rice contains vitamins B1 and B3, and folic acid – it’s a vitamin haven! It’s also a low-glycemic food meaning it releases glucose into the bloodstream gradually, preventing sugar lows and mood swings. Swap brown rice for white rice and you’ll be set to go with all the health benefits of this awesome food.

5. Bananas

Bananas are not only packed with goodness but the B6 in them and carbohydrates help to boost your low mood too, and who doesn’t love a banana?

It is also important to remember that skipping meals and certain, bad foods will lower your mood. So even if you reach for that crisp packet now, you might not feel so good about it later.

Remember that health begins from the inside, so mind your diet and incorporate some of these happy foods into a healthy, balanced diet to reap the mood boosting benefits of these five wholesome and awesome foods.