Norfolk and Suffolk Memory Joggers want reminiscence training to help people and dementia patients all over Britain

Memory Joggers' Sheena McBain during a session

Memory Joggers' Sheena McBain during a session - Credit: Evening News © 2006

Two Norfolk residents want to train people from all walks of life in simple techniques that help dementia sufferers remember their past.

Sheena McBain and Bob Warnes founded the Memory Joggers, a social enterprise, three years ago and have trained at least 80 nurses and care workers to use reminiscence techniques – often handling objects from their past to awaken memories, with patients across Norfolk and Suffolk.

They have now been awarded funding to open a 'Reminiscence Academy' on the east Norfolk coast and they hope, by training members of the public from office workers to police officers as well as care workers, they can share the technique with as many people as possible.

The training academy will be based at the Kings Centre in Great Yarmouth from October. The course will cost £15 per person with the money going back into providing the training. Mrs McBain, however, said the real value of reminiscence techniques was priceless as it can make a huge difference in the lives of, not only those with dementia, but their friends, families and carers.

'We have been training staff at the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) and that has been so successful it has now developed into a rolling programme, training staff throughout the hospital for the next two years,' said Mrs McBain.

'We've contacted as many care home and residential home staff as possible as we'd like to offer the training to the people on the ground, but there is no reason why home carers or anyone else can not sign up.

'We all come into contact with people who have dementia, but not everyone knows how to deal with it. This could help everyone from police officers to hairdressers.'

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A launch event will be held at the Kings Centre on September 11, from 10am to 2pm. Care workers, BUPA and JPUH nurses will attend to talk about their reminiscence is used in their respective industries.

Call 075491 77537 or email for more information.

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