Trip down Memory Lane in West Lavington

Siobhan Drane, Bupa Care Homes' community and partnerships manager, looks through a Map of Life as part of Bupa's Memory Share week
Siobhan Drane, Bupa Care Homes' community and partnerships manager, looks through a Map of Life as part of Bupa's Memory Share week

THERE’S nothing like a get together and a trip down memory lane.

But a national survey recently showed most people don’t know enough about the important events in their parents’ early lives and what mattered most to them.

So along with fellow Bupa care homes in the area, Pendean at West Lavington, will be taking part in Memory Share week from November 12-18 in a bid to change all that.

Pendean will be hosting special events for their surrounding community that focus on the importance of sharing memories and how capturing memories now can reap rewards for families in later life.

The initiative comes after the survey revealed that, although two thirds of people said they were able to name where their parents first met, only one in three knew their father’s greatest achievement or the most memorable event in their mother’s childhood.

Similarly, less than one in four could name their father’s best friend at school and only one in three, had ever spoken to their mother about relationships she’d had before their father came along.

Yet, three quarters of the people surveyed admitted that they ought to know more!

The survey was commissioned by Bupa Care Homes to highlight the importance that reminiscence plays in older people’s lives and to encourage everyone to do more to share family memories.

To help families capture those memories, Bupa has created a Map of Life tool. Available online at www.bupa.co.uk/mapoflife, which can be used to record significant life experiences, such as schooldays, jobs, holidays, interests and friends. The website also provides lots of ideas and advice for families on how to unlock memories.

Siobhan Drane, Bupa Care Homes’ community and partnerships manager, said: “We’d like to encourage everyone, young and old, to capture their memories.

“Especially in later life, reminiscence can provide people with a great deal of enjoyment and improve their wellbeing by making them feel good about themselves and their life experiences. If families find out now about the important milestones in their parents’ lives, it will help them to encourage reminiscence in later years.”

She added:“The Map of Life is something we have introduced into all our homes.”

“We think it is really important to find out as much as possible about our residents using our Map of Life so we can provide really personalised care.”

Bupa’s Memory Share week is supported by Age Exchange, a charity which specifically works with older people to improve their quality of life by valuing their reminiscences through dramas and documentaries.

Craig Muir, chief executive of Age Concern, said: “We at Age Exchange know the value of reminiscence and sharing memories in bringing people together, getting them to understand and value each other more and generally make their lives better. I’m sure Bupa Care Homes’ Memory Share Week will create a buzz of excitement and enjoyment amongst people in their homes. We welcome and support this great idea”

The survey was carried out in June this year by Research Now, using a nationally representative sample of 1,023 adults across the country.