VIDEO: Room helps OAPs step back in time

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NOSTALGIC residents are enjoying a room with a view to the past at a South Tyneside care home.

Connolly House – which provides specialist care for people with Alzheimer’s disease – has turned back the clock after launching a new cinema, reminiscence and activities room.

The facility, which was paid for by fundraising efforts by the care home, has its own big screen to view slideshows of South Shields scenes from as far back as the 1950s.

Eye-catching pictures of movie and musical greats such as Laurel and Hardy and the Rat Pack also adorn a wall of fame leading to the cinema room, which also doubles as an activities space where residents can play cards and bingo and get useful gardening tips.

One green-fingered resident, Mel James, has passed on his own expertise after successfully growing impressive tomato plants from seeds.

Carol Cruickshanks, manager of the home in Reynolds Avenue, South Shields, said: “It was the idea of the staff.

“Earlier in the year we set up a sensory room, and they thought setting up a cinema and reminiscence room would be a good next step.

“We held a fete in March and raised £456. The West Park pub has kindly donated us a big screen and we have a selection of photographs of streets in South Shields including Boldon Lane and King Street, showing old shops that are no longer there and trams passing through.

“It has really helped to start up conversations and jog the memories of the residents.

“It has been a joy for both the residents and the staff.

“The staff have come in in their own spare time to help paint the room.

“It has proved very popular, and visitors are welcome to use the room too.

“A lot of the pictures we put on the slideshow are from the 50s.

“Many of the residents have poor short-term memory put have a good long-term memory and they enjoy seeing the scenes.”

The care home will be spending funds still left over on a new projector, which will be able to show archive film footage.

Members of the public who have archive photographs and footage they would like to share for use in the cinema room, contact the care home on 536 1527.





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