Can a Tree Help People’s Memory? How We Use a Unique Tool To Help Residents Remember

Yes, you read that right. At our Worcester care home with nursing, we are using trees as a method of communication to aid memory. Trees? Yes. Trees!

Well, more specifically a tree. And not an evergreen or a deciduous. No. Instead Pauline, our Activities Coordinator, has created a memory or seasonal tree.

The memory tree sits in the large sitting room at our care home Worcester. It was borne from an idea that Pauline had to help our residents recall what time of year it is. It helps to give them a sense of what season or month we are in, so it's not so bewildering.

 

The memory tree is a way of helping to jog the memories of our residents. By denoting what time of year it is through the use of various items hanging from its branches, the tree helps our residents when they get a little confused about the time of year. It's also used to signify noteworthy events that may be taking place, both within our Worcester care home with nursing and within the wider world.

As we get older we can all get more confused and forgetful. Dementia sufferers in particular can feel disoriented in time and place. They will often forget the time and familiar surroundings. As well as being useful and interesting for all of us at Stanfield Nursing Home, using the tree as a memory aide forms part of the specialist dementia care we provide and is a fun and effective way of communicating information.

What's On The Memory Tree At Our Worcester Care Home With Nursing?

The memory tree gets filled with all sorts of things. In the summer, it was laden with everything you might find at the beach. There were sun creams, buckets and spades, and sun hats. This communicated to our residents that it was summer and a beautiful day outside. It also gave a message to our residents to wear protect themselves by wearing sunscreen and a hat if going into the garden.

When it was Wimbledon, the tree was covered in tennis balls. As we move through the seasons at our Worcester care home with nursing, the tree gains other types of decoration. For example, Halloween saw the tree dressed with pumpkins, silvery cobwebs, spiders and other creepy crawlies!

Why Use A Tree?

Well, why not? When you think about it most of us already use a tree to denote a time of year. When Christmas comes, putting a tree up is commonplace. Everyone knows it's Christmas by doing so. So, when Pauline came to me with the idea to use that same concept to assist our residents throughout the year I immediately agreed.

The memory tree is now a great conversation piece at our Worcester care home with nursing. It's a real talking point for the residents and our nursing home staff. Because it stands out in the sitting room, when our residents' friends and family come to visit it inevitably catches their eye and sparks a chat. What's lovely, is that the conversations are ignited not just among our residents and their own families, but also between visitors.

So, the memory tree has become much more than its name. It has in many ways become a central part of the home. As a memory aide but as something that contributes marvellously to creating the overall ambiance of our home.

And in that case you really could say we've branched out with our communication at Stanfield Nursing Home!

You can also watch a video about our memory tree.

Yours,

 

Richard White

 

Director

If you are considering a Worcester nursing home for yourself or a loved one, please feel free to discuss any questions you may have with us on 01905 675941. You are also very welcome to arrange to come and have a look around our home and gardens should you wish.

You may also like to read our previous blog on weekly pamper days at our dementia care home in Worcester.

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