Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - A worthwhile trip down memory lane: 1950s-style street brings back memories for dementia sufferers

Ration cards, threepenny stamps and a red brick bus stop are commonplace at a nursing home near Bristol where a 1950s street has been recreated to help residents with dementia.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 21 September

A worthwhile trip down memory lane: 1950s-style street brings back memories for dementia sufferers


Ration cards, threepenny stamps and a red brick bus stop are commonplace at a nursing home near Bristol where a 1950s street has been recreated to help residents with dementia.

The garden at Grove Care nursing home, near Bristol, has been transformed and now includes a post office, pub and greengrocers – all brimming with authentic artefacts from the decade. The street, nicknamed “Memory Lane”, was inspired by open-air living museums.

Martin McCarthy, who runs Grove Care homes, told The Mirror that the project had already had positive feedback and results.

“One resident with dementia, who has been with us for a year, never went outside. But when she heard about the street she came down and had a look, which was a really great moment.”

Staff at the care home stressed that the street was not intended to trick residents into thinking they are living in the 1950s. Instead, Memory Lane offers residents reminiscence therapy – a technique where patients are encouraged to share personal memories with each other, or objects are used to help them remember.

“They’ve even got the prices right,” Resident and former midwife Antonia Burgess, 87, told the Daily Express. “Tuppence ha’penny for a pound of cabbage. Can you believe that?”



Questions for discussion


For primary:

  • If someone in the future was going to recreate a high street from 2012, which features do you think should be included?
  • In what ways do you think high streets might have changed between 1950 and the present day?

For secondary:

  • What is your earliest memory?
  • The senses (taste, smell, etc) are often said to remind people of thing that have happened in the past. Do you find that there are certain things which can trigger your own memories?



Related resources


The short and long of it

  • These comprehensive PowerPoint presentations explain the science of short- and long-term memory.

Remember, remember

  • Help students understand how they learn and improve their memory skills with this interactive lesson.

The way things were

  • Explore how things have changed since the 1950s with this collection of resources covering work, fashion and much more.

Brainiac

  • The brain helps us feel, think and remember. Take a look inside and show students how the vital organ works with this visual PowerPoint.

Further news resources


First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide.

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

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