Gwynedd care home residents take a trip down memory lane on train designed for dementia patients

Video report by ITV Wales journalist Ian Lang

  • 'If they don't remember the journey, they remember the feeling. I think that's what it's about really'

Care home residents in Gwynedd have been enjoying a trip down memory lane on a specially designed train designed to stimulate happy memories from their past and help those suffering with dementia.

Patients at Meddyg Care Group’s Criccieth and Porthmadog homes have been boarding the ‘Meddyg Care Express’, which is a specially designed room aimed at recreating the feeling of taking a rail journey.

The room contains a 60-inch screen showing hours of footage from the local are - as well as vintage lighting, luggage, storage racks, seating and a table.

Many of the residents are local to the area and the Meddyg Care Express gives residents a sense of nostalgia.

Jane Jones, the daughter of resident Connie said: "I think it's fabulous because it's nice to evoke memories that even if they don't remember the journey she'll remember the feeling. I think that's what it's about really."

It is proving very popular with residents and allows staff members to spend quality time with those in their care over a cup of tea, while reminiscing about the past.

The 60-inch television showcases landscape from the surrounding region Credit: ITV Wales

Laura Haynes, help at home manager at Meddyg Care, said: “The investment is part of the staff’s holistic approach to providing residents with alternative activities, aiming to promote socialisation among those living at the homes and offer a new outlet that can help with expression and anxiety.

“With the footage of Criccieth and Porthmadog, it creates a calming space for patients too, most of whom are originally from the local area.

 “If a trip on the Meddyg Care Express turns someone’s day around, even for half an hour, then the installation has been a huge success.

 “The rail carriage installations will really set our homes apart and provide additional support along with our dementia care specialists."

Laura added: “Residents can take a train ride whenever they like, which is ideal for those who tend not to sleep through the night – it means our care staff can take them to the first-class carriage and enjoy a cup of tea.

 “We’re passionate about creating reminiscent environments. For example, we also have a pub and garden, called the Glaslyn Arms at our Porthmadog home, where people can enjoy quiz nights and their favourite tipple in a safe environment.

“We’re thrilled to have invested in this new area at our Porthmadog and Criccieth homes and we’re already seeing regular visitors to the carriage, which has certainly created a calming effect and helped the residents feel more at home.”

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