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NML award-winning dementia awareness programme launches new tablet loan scheme ‘Connect My Memories’

Connect My Memories aims to tackle social, financial and digital exclusion by working with local networks – equipping older people, families, unpaid carers, community workers and volunteers who may not have access to resources with the kit, data and skills to support them as they learn to use mobile technology. This tablet loan service is designed to support isolated older people in the community, and help them form new digital skills, connections and interests. 

Digital training workshops introduce people to the My House of Memories app – a museum-based resource that has been co-created by people living with dementia and their carers. The app has had more than 35,000 downloads, and currently has versions that are tailor-made for users in three countries: the United Kingdom; the United States; and Singapore. It is designed to help trigger people’s memories of the past, using museum objects and people’s own images, and to help people to make connections with their families and carers that can make a real difference to all of their lives.  

Picture by Gareth Jones

Carol Rogers MBE, Director of House of Memories, said:

“If you are living with dementia, life is that little bit better if you have a caring community around you that is working to help find ways for you to live well.” 

“While of course we hope there will soon be a cure for dementia and that clinically more can happen to support people, we hope that Connect my Memories and all of our work at House of Memories can build connections and give a sense of wellbeing that is of great benefit to those living with dementia in the community.” 

“We were able to make Connect My Memories a reality with funding from the Big Give Christmas Challenge, Medicash, The Geoffrey and Pauline Martin Trust, The Ravensdale Trust, The Rimmer Memorial Charitable Trust, The Castanea Trust, FPC and Anchor Hanover.”  

Tommy Dunne BEM is a former railway manager who now dedicates his time to raising awareness of dementia and is a participant in the Connect My Memories loan tablet service. He said:

“I think Connect My Memories is one of the greatest ideas I’ve heard for people living with dementia in the past 10 years. People think that we can’t use tech, but we’re just not given the chance. Some people can’t afford tablets, but people just assume that we don’t know how to use them.” 

 “House of Memories is not only going to loan you the tablet, but they also provide training on how to use it, which I know will be carried out in a way that my peers and those in the caring profession will understand. This isn’t just a loan service, this is a gift of life. It’s not often you get the opportunity to help give people their life back and help prevent social isolation – which we know is one of the biggest killers.”  

Networks including Local Solutions and Liverpool Cares have already signed up to take part in the Connect My Memories scheme. If you are part of a local network that can support older people to get connected and would like to know more about Connect My Memories, please contact learning@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk 

Image credit: Gareth Jones

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