Dementia Toolkit receives international recognition
09 October 2015
A new Dementia Toolkit developed with Canterbury Christ Church University and written by Jeremy Kimmel of the Tunbridge Wells Museum is sparking international interest.
The museum launched the toolkit last week and enquiries from other museums across the UK and as far as Madrid and Montréal are being taken by both the University and the Museum.
The Dementia Toolkit for Small and Medium Museums is a result of two years' research by Canterbury Christ Church University’s Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, the Alzheimer's Society in West Kent and Tunbridge Wells Museum, and aims to help museums develop similar projects. The research findings will be presented at the Museums Association annual conference in Birmingham on 5 November by Professor Camic and Mr Kimmel.
This innovative project was a finalist in the 2015 National Dementia Friendly Awards. The research looked at the effects of museum object handling on the wellbeing of people with dementia.
Professor Paul Camic said: “The research project involved 80 people with early to mid-stage dementia over a 2 year period. We found that handling and talking about museum objects in small groups of people with dementia helped to improve their sense of wellbeing. Our statistically significant results provide important support that low-cost, community-based programmes offered by public museums can enhance wellbeing for those with dementia.
“Given these results, and a previous project that was recently completed at the Beaney Museum in Canterbury and published in Dementia, health, social care and public health commissioners should consider funding museum-based pilot programmes for this population.”
The free toolkit can be accessed online.