Just before the England team's drubbing yesterday, the BBC news website announces ‘a new therapy which uses
football to stimulate the minds of dementia sufferers that could be extended abroad,
after the success of a pilot project’.
This refers to a report by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University in February this year. They showed
memorabilia to men with dementia and found that it stimulated their memories in a
"remarkable" way and they were able to chat about memories of players
and games, after being shown photographs and match programmes.
They report that Professor Debbie Tolson, director of the university's Centre
for Evidence Based Care of Older People, described it as a fascinating study
with impressive results.
"The men's life-long interest in football connected
them to their former selves and shared memories," she said. “We have
realised how little meaningful activity is provided for men that reflect their
She is certainly right there. There isn't much out there for anyone with dementia.
"By listening to men with dementia and family carers we
have realised how little meaningful activity is provided for men that reflect
their past passions."
She said the study had shown that photos were a "potent
trigger" for fans with dementia. This 'welcome and positive innovation' is in fact not new.
We have been doing the very same thing in nearly 2,000 care homes and families up and down the country since launching Many Happy Returns 1940s memory trigger cards in October 2008. The only difference is that the Many Happy Returns cards are designed for women, too.
I am just wondering how men now in their reminiscence bump years (10-30) will remember the match on Sunday?