Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Glencarron residents take a trip down memory lane with UTV archives

Residents from a Crossmaglen nursing home have been taking a trip down memory lane with the help of some archive footage generously donated by UTV.  Staff at Glencarron nursing home have been using the films to stimulate social interaction and make reminiscing that bit easier for the elderly residents, some of whom suffer from Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The idea was the brainchild of the Glencarron management team, who are extremely proactive in working with reminiscence techniques with their clients. Speaking to The Examiner after UTV visited the home last week to film residents’ reaction to the footage, Assistant Manager Garvan Liddy explained,

“We work with reminiscence with dementia residents quite a bit as it helps create an environment to help unlock memories and a talking point for people to work off.  It’s something which is also very beneficial for the families who are visiting who may find sometimes that they are not connecting with their loved one any more,” said Garvan.

“Watching archive footage of a time that a lot of residents will have forgotten helps to jog their memories and creates a more positive environment where they can strike up conversations with each other and interact better with their friends and families, giving them something to talk about again.”

After contacting UTV archives department to ask if they could put together some archive footage for the Glencarron residents, Garvan was surprised to hear from a UTV editor who was so impressed with the idea that he offered to donate the footage and asked to feature the story on a UTV Live news section last week.

“The footage would be quite expensive so it was great to have it donated to Glencarron and to then feature on UTV Live,” said Garvan, who added that raising awareness of the use of such techniques with those suffering from dementia and alzheimer’s disease served as a fitting tribute to the home, which celebrates 25 years in care this year.

“Our residents thoroughly enjoyed watching the footage of old working and family life in Northern Ireland, which is generic for everybody from that era,” he said.

“Many of them recognised old news readers and remembered the old coal and milk floats that featured in the films. It really helped them strike up conversations and interact with their families better, so everybody had a bit of craic with this.

“The Alzheimer’s Society support what we are doing and we hope it demonstrates to other homes what we’re doing so they might take it on board too.”

Speaking to UTV Live about the use of the archive footage at Glencarron, Adele Doherty from the Alzheimer’s Society said,

“There are so many studies which show that positive social activities such as reminiscing or singing or any form of activity which stimulates the brain can help people live well with dementia and can even slow down the rate at which the brain declines.”