Patients and visitors on Caversham Ward at the Royal Berkshire Hospital enjoyed a welcome interruption to their afternoon routine with a musical trip down memory lane. The theme was summer time.
Joined by staff, they had a fun afternoon recalling holiday experiences from the 1950s and 60s, while enjoying ice cream and strawberries, along with a refreshing glass of lemonade as they reminisced. They also enjoyed an old fashioned sing-along to popular summer hits from the era, accompanied by Senior Staff Nurse, John Budd, on his ukulele.
Sharon Herring, Director of Nursing Networked Care and Lorraine Colam, Chaplain, led the reminiscence session that took patients on a virtual trip to the seaside and encouraged participants to share their memories of days-gone-bye. Sharon said: “We have many creative activities that support the care of our elderly patients.”
“The reminiscence sessions are very popular and offer an opportunity for those who want to take part, to share common life experiences which can stimulate and help put participants back in touch with parts of their lives which are pleasurable to remember.”
Reverand Colam commented “It is always a joy to listen to the stories of our elderly patients. For some of them they have lost those with whom they have most in common, leaving them feeling very alone with their memories.”
Reminiscence is extremely important to elderly patients and the various hospital teams (‘multi-disciplinary teams’) are working together with the Museum of English Rural Life, providing regular reminiscence sessions at the hospital. Dr Joanna Brooke, Professor of Dementia at the RBH has gone on to develop a joint study with the Museum of English Rural Life, called “Reminiscence in an acute hospital with patients with and without dementia: What is the impact?”