Photo of the Month April 2013, and how slideshows of old memories help dementia patients

winter-sun690

Positive Results for memory-loss and hospital patients

by Jennie Flowers (Director of Alive Studios)

This is one of my favourite winter photos I’ve scanned for a while, but more importantly, it’s yet another example of how slideshows of old memories can really help people in difficult positions like illness, hospital confinement and dementia. Over the last 10 years, we have had a wealth of feedback from customers describing how the slideshows we produce have had a remarkable effect on the client, from helping families re-connect through discussing the past together, to quite amazing results of stroke victims with no apparent awareness of who their family is, who during a viewing, demonstrate actual memory activity and start describing the people in the photos and the events they remember.

Having seen memory deterioration in my own Grandad, then losing my Mum to cancer recently, I am acutely aware of how memory is affected by age and illness, so this is an area I’m personally very interested in, and will continue to research into the beneficial effects of showing photos in this way to patients, and adapting what we produce to improve the response. Here’s a copy of an email received from the daughter of the man who took this wonderful winter scene…

“You did a great job for us at a very difficult time. My Dad was a very keen amateur photographer and died about 10 years ago. At the time we got the slides and photographs developed electronically using your studio my Mother was very ill and in hospital for several months. By taking the laptop in we were able to show her the photos and completely take her away from the environment she was in and take her back to many happier times. It also helped us as visits were more enjoyable for us all. My Mum died soon after we showed her the completed DVD but she got to see all of the chapters and we also chose a selection of pictures of my Mother and played these at her funeral where they were appreciated by other friends and family.

I am very happy for you to use the photo below and would love to see a copy of the letter you send. Really pleased one of my Fathers shots stuck in your memory and will be seen by others.”

Jane.L (Alive Studios customer) 1st March 2013

Alive Studios would love to hear from anyone who’s had an experience involving memory and the process of re-awakening it with photos or film from their past.

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