A display of everyday items from years gone by is being used to help dementia patients in South Tyneside.
Haven Court - the borough’s new £9m unit providing care for people who suffer from the condition - has teamed up with South Shields Museum & Art Gallery to put reminiscence objects on display.
Things like old Shields ferry tickets, postcards, a Bakelite radio and Wrights biscuit memorabilia are being used at the care hub, in the grounds at South Tyneside District Hospital, to help trigger memories.
The aim of the initial partnership was to bring local and historical inspiration into the design of the facility, which opened in August at the hospital in Harton Lane, South Shields.
Haven Court offers a range of high quality support and services, including residential, day and respite care, and rehabilitation for older people, particularly those with dementia.
The emphasis is on helping older people to live as independently as possible, with a high quality rehabilitation and therapeutic service available to enable them to return to their own homes.
The memorabilia featured are either de-accessioned objects from the Ocean Road museum, duplicates in the collections or items bought from vintage fairs and auctions.
Joanne Charlton, who works for Tyne & Wear Archives &Museums on the Platinum Programme for people over 55, said: “As well as local objects, I set out to find ones that I knew would bring back memories. There is an old rotary dial telephone, for example.
“Young people try to press dial-like buttons and don’t understand it, while people who can remember such telephones like the sound and action of something that was once so familiar.”
Lesley Dawson, care manager at Haven Court, which is run by South Tyneside Integrated Care Limited, said: “Activities for people with dementia which focus on reminiscence can help improve mood and general wellbeing and help them to stay connected with those around them.
“The displays look amazing. There have been so many positive comments already and they have sparked a great deal of conversation among our service users.”