New reminiscence hub “Those Were the Days” opens in Fife
Co-op Funeralcare in Glenrothes and Dunfermline are excited to announce the opening of the very first reminiscence hub, “Those Were The Days.” The hub is based in Preston House*, part of Kingdom Homes care homes, who we’ve partnered with to bring this concept into reality.
It started back in 2017, when Funeral Director, Kenny McLachlan, first thought of the idea of Memory Boxes as a way to help people living with dementia to remember things about the past and encourage them to talk about those memories with others. Kenny recognised that people with dementia were affected by loneliness and wanted to do something to help those affected in his community. Three years later and his Memory Box concept has been embraced by our funeral homes across the UK, and they’ve been a massive success receiving praise wherever they are taken.
It was at a Memory Box session at Cragie House Care Home in Crossgates (part of Kingdom Homes), where Kenny met Activities Manager, Paula Paterson. She and the residents loved the session so much that Paula asked how they could possibly expand the initiative. They discussed the possibility of using a self-contained room in Preston House Care Home to enable residents from all 13 of their homes to come and experience reminiscence sessions. Kenny suggested taking this one step further by making it available to community groups across Fife, and so Co-op Funeralcare at the Glenrothes and Dunfermline care centres agreed to support the joint venture.
Five months later the room was ready, full of memorabilia from days gone by, and Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman attended the Grand Opening to cut the ribbon and officially open the new reminiscence hub. Also joining the day were representatives from Alzheimer Scotland, Fife Council, Glenrothes Age Concern, Co-op Food, Directors of Kingdom Homes, plus care home residents, and they were all treated to an impromptu Memory box session to demonstrate how the initiative and partnership would work going forward.
Now Kenny and the Funeralcare team across Fife are looking forward to helping as many community groups and care home residents as they can by allowing them to take part in reminiscence sessions.
Speaking about the first week after opening its doors, Kenny said:
“I worked with Paula in the new Hub all of the first week providing Memory Box sessions to a variety of people from around the 13 Kingdom Homes care homes (residents and staff). We also invited representatives from local groups to come along and have a look, many of whom joined in with the sessions and found how rewarding it can be.
“Although it was a very busy week, things went particularly well and now the Hub is up and running, we are able to take groups from all over the region in to have a trip down Memory Lane. There has also been interest from local schools who have indicated that they wish to use the Hub as an educational facility.
“This will be an invaluable facility going forward and the Co-op are proud to be a part of such an exciting venture.”
Photo: Stuart Murdoch, North East Scotland Regional Manager for Co-op Funeralcare and Kenny McLachlan, Logistics Manager for Co-op Funeralcare
*Preston House is one the Kingdom Homes care homes, and the reminiscence hub is accessible to any community group in the area by appointment.