The reminiscence experience can be a very therapeutic one and the recollection of memories has been “likened to working through a dusty junk room where reminders of the past are stored haphazardly and sometimes we delight in finding something we thought was long lost but treasure on having it restored to us.”
CARM’s reminiscence service was established in 2006 when Our Memories Matter (OMM) was introduced. In 2015 CARM introduced Caring To Remember (CTR) a “spin off” from the original service delivering reminiscence in partnership with acre providers. Both OMM and CTR provide weekly talking reminiscence sessions for groups of older people, in order to reduce their social isolation and improve their sense of well-being.
Reminiscing (sharing memories) is a positive experience, helping those that take part to feel valued and listened to. Most important of all the sessions are great fun. The sessions are facilitated by trained volunteers, using a variety of props as triggers to encourage memories. The service is managed by a paid coordinator and an assistant coordinator.
The service is static and operates in a variety of care settings across the Romney Marsh and Shepway area. Three of the groups are specifically for clients with dementia and attendees at these sessions include day centre clients and those on respite or in long term care
What the settings say about the service:
“All clients involved in these groups benefit greatly and have recalled some memories with the group that we have been able to recall with them again. All the volunteers are bubbly and friendly and have a really good connection with our service users. After each session the clients are clearly in raised spirits. They really miss these sessions when they are not on.”
What our volunteers say they like best about being involved:
"The joy on the clients faces when they see us return after a break."
What the attendees say:
“You bring up memories which is nice and you should never lose your memories”
Volunteers receive a full induction and training is provided in a variety of ways. Volunteers work in groups to facilitate sessions on a weekly basis in blocks of 10 sessions for OMM and 8 sessions for CTR, usually with a month to six week break in between. Regular volunteer support meetings are held throughout the year.
Musical Memories Matter
Introduced in 2013 Musical Memories Matter is a mobile service delivering music and singing sessions in a wide variety of care settings within the Shepway and Ashford areas for a donation.
To find out more about our Reminiscence services or to express an interest in volunteering please ring the office on 01233 758122 or click on the link below to send an email.
The word ‘loneliness’ expresses the pain of being alone