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Dementia patients in Winchester given a blast from the past

Westacre Nursing Home has opened a vintage caravan with a 60s and 70s style to help those living with dementia.

As part of the centre's 'Reminiscence Therapy' programme, both residents and those living in the community with dementia can relive good times on holidays gone by.

Westacre are already seeing results from the project, supporting residents with a throwback to familiarity at at time when they may be struggling with short-term memory loss.

The Mayor of Winchester - Councillor Eleanor Bell - cut the ribbon to declare the caravan open.

Geoff Pride - who works at Westacre - said: "We're trying to create opportunities to use senses, emotions, feelings around positive memories from the past.

"That has already triggered good conversations and memories, and therefore we think all the time we're creating these good memories and having conversations, then we're reducing the stress and anxiety of our residents."

Not only does the caravan offer a dose of nostalgia from with its dark wood panelling and floral net curtains from the outside, the interior is also decorated to evoke memories of the past. The decor ranges from quizzes, crosswords and puzzles to retro tea-sets and biscuit tins.

Megan Osborn's family friend Lyn Burnett lives at the Nursing Home. Megan visited the caravan with her two young children and said: "It's amazing. It's good for the elderly residents to remember their younger years caravanning in the 60s.

"She (Lyn) said she used to holiday in a caravan similar to that, with her young friends years ago and remembered playing board games in the rain.

"It taps into a memory they had ... the children loved it."

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