In the words of our participants, “it is so lovely to remember.”
During the structured reminiscence sessions I makes use of a collection of memorabilia, photographs, scents and smells, sensory objects, radio themes, famous voices as visual, sensory and auditory triggers. As interest is generated a theme or topics are explored, memories are sensitively share and members engage in as much lively and stimulating discussion as they are able and willing.
Themes include: Fashion and looking good; Fun in the kitchen and granny’s favourite receipts; The olde fashioned sweet shop; Old world remedies; Transport and travel; Radio and TV theme tunes; First days of school, Scents familiar and curios smells; Make do and mend; Festive holidays; Family life; Summer days; The cost of things then; The changing seasons.
I have had some wonderful experiences during many of the reminiscence session which I have run over years, but much more importantly and relevant is that the clients themselves have expressed feelings of joy and delight, and having been gently encouraged to participate in the group have shown enthusiasm and interest in joining further meetings.
As a Heritage Practitioner I am delighted to be part of the team working for Independent Arts. I have a degree in Art History and background experience of working in historic houses and museums where I built up a knowledge and love of social history.
In recent years I have been fortunate to have had training in reminiscence work and memory therapy and I feel privileged to be able to support people with Dementia in the Island community through reminiscence workshops and creative iPad workshops. My workshops are enriched with a varied collection of handling items for participants to share and prompt conversation. Similarly iPads can be used for reminiscence, searching and finding resources and images to prompt memories and connections and for maintaining good cognitive function through puzzles and brain teasers. IA also have a range of apps aimed at those living with dementia.
In the time I have lived on the Isle of Wight I have been inspired by the wealth of history and culture which is around us. The Time and Tide project was a wonderful opportunity for local people to interact with museum collections. It was a joy to be part of this project and to join in the journey of discovery as we looked at some important art and artefacts from our island heritage.
Annie is trained in aromatherapy and massage and can incorporate gentle hand massage, aromatherapy and touch into her reminiscence sessions to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. This multi-sensory approach is ideally suited to a range of individuals but is particularly helpful for those with advanced dementia or for those who have lost speech.
Annie is also a singer and delivers music sessions for Independent Arts.
"When I retired from a career in nursing in 2010, I was determined to keep myself busy. I have had a lot of experience working with people with dementia so I became a volunteer with the Ventnor SingAbout group. I started working as a creative practitioner two years ago, as I felt I had the skills and experience required to run Reminiscence Workshops. I really enjoy working with people and listening to their reminiscences about their lives and families.
"Fundamentally I am a creative person and enjoy crochet, sewing, photography and music. I particularly enjoy crocheting twiddle muffs for people with dementia, and blankets for charity. In my spare time I am also learning to play the piano accordion."
I am delighted to be delivering reminiscence sessions for Independent Arts, as well as arts sessions. Reminiscence sessions vary in theme. To give an example, a session might focus on hobbies and pastimes: games people played, prompted by items to trigger memories and discussion, such as wool and knitting needles, noughts and crosses, snap, Happy Families.
I came down to the island with my husband three years ago, as we moved with his work. We have settled very well on the island and everyone has made us welcome. I undertook my Fine Art Degree in Manchester and Coventry (1978–1981) and have taught in many Adult Education Centres in Manchester and Harrogate. I have joined lots of clubs/groups on the island – I belong to the Freshwater Book Club, I attend a local Pottery Group where I design and make animals out of clay and also many vases decorated with leaves, stems and 'green men'. If I have any spare time, I enjoy walking in the countryside and taking in the fantastic views - my favourite areas for walking are The Needles, Ventnor, Newtown.
For general enquiries, or to discuss your requirements, please