How do you explain dementia to a six year old? The Ally Bally Bee Project is on a mission to make such difficult conversations a little easier with a personalised children’s book about dementia.
Imagine being able to explain “granny’s dementia” to your child with a book that features both of them as the main characters. From names and appearances to certain behavioural traits (after all, dementia affects everyone differently) – Ally Bally Bee plan to allow for such customisation through an interactive website. Simply create the story online then click to have it delivered to your door!
Find out more –www.allyballybee.org
Storii enables families to store memories, both for themselves and for their loved ones in care.
The web platform is used by both carers in care homes and families around the world.
Storii provides –
- Family members with peace of mind that their loved ones are being well cared for, by keeping them informed of their day to day activities.
- A platform to capture those 5 minutes of clarity that someone with memory loss can experience.
- A simple digital life story platform that crosses generations.
Find out more: www.storii.com
National charity Contact the Elderly aims to alleviate the loneliness of isolated older people aged 75 and over, who live alone. Supported by a network of volunteer drivers, hosts and coordinators, the charity organises free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties in local communities throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
One of Contact the Elderly’s biggest challenges is reaching those who are completely cut off from society and therefore most in need of our support.
Find out more: www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk
The History Project is where life stories are told better and the moments that matter are preserved into meaningful narratives. The platform empowers individuals, families and groups to connect artifacts and memories across media to build powerful experiential stories that transcend generations.
The company, backed by investors including The New York Times and The Associated Press, is changing how life stories are told.
Find out more: www.thehistoryproject.com
GIFT is a gallery; a ‘digital giving’ gallery that celebrates the act of giving and how it connects us as families, friends, colleagues and neighbours, through the things that we give and the things that we receive.
Through a practical workshop process in residential homes, elderly residents will be encouraged to ‘digitally give’ something to GIFT helping create a unique new website and resource. This could be a precious vase, a souvenir from a holiday or perhaps a family hierloom or their ‘gift’ may be something less tangible; a piece of advice, a story or even a cautionary tale.
GIFT is about celebrating the lives, stories and experiences of older people, the team behind GIFT hope it will:
• Act as a digital tool for engaging older people; particularly those in residential and nursing homes.
• Encourage older people to contribute and share their stories and photographs and so start an on-line conversation with other older people across the UK.
• Be simple and easy to use for older people, families, and care-workers.
• Capture the beauty of everyday objects through photography and story, that celebrates their detail, meaning and common purpose for us all, whilst sharing their owners own unique relationship.
Find out more – http://www.giftproject.org.uk/
Vintage communities bring people together to find local solutions to local problems.
Staff at Vintage Communities work intensively in small areas (usually a ward or smaller) for 6-9 months. They gather enthusiasts, older people, local representatives of clubs and societies together, and act as a facilitator to help the group map their local assets and problems. Older people in the group then take the lead on designing and delivering new initiatives to improve their community.
The first Vintage Community was set up in Balham in 2011 where the group has hosted a street party and an event where neighbours show what they have to offer to others for example cooking, dog walking and teaching a foreign language.
The ultimate goal is for the community group itself to function independently, and so in time staff at Vintage Communities move on to support another community to get started.
For more information see:
For a video detailing their work in Balham;
Spots of Time have a mission to make it easier for people to put their spare ‘spots of time’ to good use in their communities through making it easy for others to share their time and talents with care home residents.
People can get involved by picking from a large range of activities that they can host at their local care homes. Activities such as: sharing your favourite mix tape, gardening tips, learning skills from residents or teaching crafts such as knitting, painting, and collage.
They also provide an opportunity for drama groups to rehearse, for beauticians in training to practice, to share writing or poetry and even to bring your own pet along to meet the residents!
For more information see:
The Big Lunch aims to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours once a year in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. In 2013 the Big Lunch date is Sunday 2 June.
Since starting in 2009 with the backing of the Eden Project, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all types of community across the UK. In 2012 8.5million people took part. Big Lunch has had a particular impact connecting older people to their neighbours.
Connecting across the generations can be a challenge. Many Happy Returns Chatterbox 1940s and 1950s card games use carefully selected images in a game that engages children and adults with older people and makes conversation between the generation easier.
Each box contains cards with carefully researched photographs of everyday items and subjects from the decade (eg 1940s for sharing with people in their 70s today), such as playing around, life at home and at school, hairdos and housework, toys and TV. Brief descriptions and questions help make conversation, sharing and enjoying people’s memories of past decades easy, fun and revealing.
Founded in 2008, Chatterbox reminiscence conversation cards can be found in care homes, families, hospitals, day centres, schools and memory cafés across the UK and North America.
For more information see: http://www.manyhappyreturns.org/
Recommended by Andy Bradley