Evoking fond memories through scent for care home residents

Boots UK has teamed up with the University of West London on a new project designed to stimulate the memories of people living with dementia.

Working with Professor Victoria Tischler, Head of Dementia Care at the University of West London, Boots has used its archives to create multi-sensory memory boxes for care home residents living with dementia.

Boots archivist Sophie Clapp is helping run memory box sessions at care homes across the country to mark Dementia Action Week, which runs from May 21-27.

Sophie said: “It’s wonderful that we have been able to use items from the Boots archive in this way. When you hand a person with dementia an item that they may remember from childhood, such as an old medicine tin, or a floral scent that they probably haven’t smelled in decades, the moment of recognition is very powerful and emotional. It has been so uplifting to be part of this project.”

The Boots Archive collection contains tens of thousands of items that many people will associate with poignant memories and life milestones, such as the joy of a new baby brought back by the scent of baby lotion and talcum powder. From Devonshire violet bath salts, to cod liver oil and carbolic soap, the smell of these products can help to unlock memories of the past and spark conversation and discussion for those living with dementia.

Launching in Dementia Action Week, Boots has created resources available online and in store to offer information and advice about dementia as well as tips on creating memory boxes – visit www.boots.com/dementia-friends  or pick up a Living with Dementia guide in store.

Click here to see one of the memory box sessions.

Source: Boots’ archives help evoke fond memories for care home residents

Random sensory quotes

Everything was sensory and I never saw the structure in anything.

— Gil Kane