City of Culture funded initiative provides activities for people with dementia

Overton House storybox photo.jpgOverton House, Hica's specialist dementia care home in Cottingham is taking part in an innovative Hull City of Culture 2017 funded initiative to support its residents.

The home has welcomed the StoryBox project, which includes free ground-breaking sessions designed for people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.   

The creative activities, which include a variety of props, music and costume encourage story making to encourage communication, sharing personal experiences, memories and engagement. 

Overton House manager Margaret Walker said: “This is a fantastic activity which our residents thoroughly enjoy. It also provides a variety of benefits to our residents with dementia, including the ability to communicate and encourage memories and engaging with one another.

“It also encourages long term benefits, including allowing us to learn more about the residents who otherwise wouldn’t share a lot about themselves. It is important for us to develop the best relationships with our residents by learning as much about them as possible. We are a family here and residents are treated as such.

“We’ve learnt a lot from StoryBox and are now able to provide our own sessions to residents. They go on for as long as the residents like and are designed around what they want to do. We make sure we have one carer for every two residents and family are welcome to join in too.”

The project was originally developed by Liz Postlethwaite, Lowri Evans and Sara Cocker at the Library Theatre Company through the support of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Manchester City Council. They developed tailor made creative interventions, staff training and development, supportive resources and mentoring and support around creativity, community and compassion.

Penni Brown, chief executive at Hica Group, said: “The project has been fantastic for residents. We always support innovative ways to support people with dementia and this in particular has stood out to us because of its success. We’ve been lucky to have sessions delivered by the StoryBox experts and now our staff are trained and can deliver the sessions as often as the residents want.”  

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