Postcard memories appeal: help our patients take a trip down memory lane

Staff from a vulnerability unit at the University Hospital of North Tees are encouraging members of the public, visitors and colleagues to help send holiday postcards to the hospital.

The Trust is appealing for postcards with holiday memories to raise a smile, and help dementia patients to stay connected to those around them, by reminding them of their own memories of holidays and fun days past.

Nurse Advisor for Adult Safeguarding and Learning Disability, Carley Ogden said: “The idea around the appeal is that any postcards sent to us will help our patients with dementia, delirium or learning disabilities to reminisce about the holidays people have had and the places they themselves may have been.”

It’s widely documented that people with dementia often recollect their minds to previous memories, marriages and relationships from when they were younger and that visual aids can help cue connections between the past (their long term memory) and the present.

Carley added: “Our enhanced care team who provide one-on-one support to patients will be able to read the postcards to those they are looking after.

“The hope is that the pictures and places will help make them feel like part of the community and, feeling connected and involved helps to keep them feeling safe and comfortable whilst they are an inpatient with us.”

The appeal by the Trust is asking that if you are on holiday, could you take 10 minutes of your time to write to a patient, helping to make a big difference. Carley and her colleagues suggest ‘simply write a postcard about your time and where you went, share a funny anecdote and help our prompt our patients past memories.

Staff, visitors and members of the public wanting to send any postcards are being directed to send their holiday memories to:

Vulnerability Unit,
Helmsley House,
University Hospital of North Tees,
Stockton,
TS198PE.

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