Dundee Museum of Transport and Alzheimer’s Scotland joined forces for 6 months in 2018 for a pilot project aimed at supporting individuals living with dementia and their carers.
The project started with monthly groups of day service clients (a maximum of 12 individuals, including carers) being invited for a tour of the museum and an afternoon tea type of refreshment. The first two visits involved the partaking of refreshments upon a dining coach which proved highly popular. This touch created much reminisce and instigated a lot of different discussion about social history relating to the era of the coach along with bus transportation.
The tour itself proved extremely popular and instigated memories – both social, historical and transport related as the museum, whilst targeting transportation, includes a great deal of social history – Tay Road Bridge – Fifies – Champion the Wonder Horse etc. The atmosphere, smells and sounds evoked memories and there was much animated chat whilst the tours took place.
Jeni Sinclair (Dementia Advisor / Volunteer Coordinator at Alzheimer’s Scotland said:
“The organisation was swift and seamless and the volunteers took smaller groups round which was invaluable as individuals were gaining a more personalised service. The volunteers themselves are a credit to the museum; each and every one of them were empathetic towards all members of the group and supported members who were less able by providing wheelchair support throughout the tour. The volunteers are extremely knowledgeable in their roles and the enthusiasm and knowledge that they displayed made the tour come alive.”
Both Dundee Museum of Transport and Alzheimer’s Scotland hope to continue these group visits in 2019.
On completion of the activity Alzheimer Scotland staff requested feedback from participants who took part in the tours.
“Really enjoyed the visit”
“Overall really enjoyed the group, tour and refreshments”
“Would go again – not enough time to take it all in”
“Excellent afternoon, staff couldn’t be more helpful from start to finish”
“Very Well organised, wheelchairs available for those would can’t walk far; excellent afternoon & would recommend”
“Looking forward to new premises – will visit again”
Thanks to Jeni Sinclair of Alzheimer’s Scotland for providing the content for this article.