My name is Kate O’Keefe
I’m always writing little notes to myself as I increasingly find that things are liable to slip my mind.
Being based at Gloucestershire Archives is a daily reminder of the importance of preserving our shared history, and how the story of our family is the story of us.
I’ve been appointed to manage the EVOKE reminiscence project which is part of ‘For The Record’. EVOKE aims to help people living with memory loss and dementia, using a reminiscence-based approach which has been shown to ‘increase the confidence of carers, improve communication with those living with dementia, and provide resources to support people to live well with dementia’.
Reconnecting people with their past is something I was involved in when I worked at Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum: I was part of an education team which took ‘handling’ objects from the collections out into the community. I’ll never forget seeing a woman’s horrified expression on seeing a washing dolly, as she remembered the drudgery of wash days when she was newly married. Or a retired farmer who, cradling a set of long combination underwear, attributed his long life and good health to the fact that he had worn something very similar in his youth.
The EVOKE project aims to make a similar impact. It will use a computer ‘app’ called House of Memories to deliver reminiscence sessions which will be sparked by a specially created Gloucestershire package of photos and other memorabilia. House of Memories was developed by staff at Liverpool Museums. It’s won awards and plenty of evidence has been collected to show that it has a positive impact on people living with memory loss and dementia, generating a good feeling which lasts beyond the sessions.
If you know about a group or a setting which you think might enjoy an informal session with House of Memories, or if you would like to get involved with the project, please get in touch with me.
Kate O’Keefe, Engagement Manager for Older People
01452 425447 Katherine.email@example.com
The House of Memories app is a starting point for relaxed conversations based on familiar things.