Greenpark Productions Ltd was established as a documentary and corporate film production company in 1938 and over the years it has built a unique collection of programmes about UK social and industrial history. which were produced by Greenpark or its associated companies.
It is now working in association with Digital Services for Care CIC, a social enterprise, to use some of the still and moving images in these programmes to create the Living Memories series of memory trigger resources to aid reminiscence by older people who grew up in the 1940s-60s. These resources may be particulary helpful for any older person developing dementia.
Using Archive Film As Reminiscence Resources for Dementia Patients
According to the Alzheimer's Society, by 2015 there will be over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with more than 670,000 family and friends acting as their primary carers. By 2021 it is forecast that there will be over one million people in the UK with dementia.
Frequently carers are at a loss to know how to engage with dementia patients, yet it is possible to stimulate their minds with still and moving images of locations and objects familiar to them from their childhood and teenage years.
Greenpark Productions Ltd (est. 1938), in association with the social enterprise Digital Services for Care CIC, is now using its extensive film archive of programmes relating to UK social and industrial history from the 1940s onwards, with a volunteer led team, to create the ongoing "Living Memories" series of audio visual resources on DVD. These can act as helpful "memory triggers" for viewing by older members of the community, including people with dementia, who grew up in the UK in the 1940s-60s.
For each DVD in the series there is a Reminiscence Guide which suggests questions and topics to discuss after viewing each film clip on the DVDs. These may help the carer preparing the reminiscence session, particularly if they are not familiar with life in that era. Unlike personal video, photographs and other memorabilia, which may hold painful memories, generic archive film footage provides a "safe" reminiscence resource.
Recollections of life in earlier years can lead to informative conversations and reminiscences, identifying subjects which can be returned to with the patient(s) in the future, perhaps after another viewing of the relevant film clip(s) or scenes.
This mental activity can benefit the patient's well-being while easing the stress on the care-giver.