'Time-warp' room to help Darwen dementia patients

A TIME-warp room is being created to help dementia sufferers at a Darwen care home.

Staff at Birch Hall Care Centre have been busy collecting furniture and household gadgets from the 1940s to transport residents back to ‘the good old days’.

It is hoped that items such as a gramophone and wartime trinkets will help dementia sufferers tap more easily into memories from the past, giving them a grounding when they are confused.

Unit manager Jan Plummer said: “With dementia patients, they live in the past a lot of the time.

“We do have a living room, but at the moment it’s not very relevant for them, so when we saw the idea in a national newspaper being used successfully, we decided to have a go ourselves.

“In other homes it has proved to help calm patients down a lot, and we’re all very excited about it being completed.”

There are 11 residents of the care home in Birch Hall Avenue who suffer from various forms of dementia.

The room is believed to be the first of its kind in Lancashire and will form a key part of their treatment.

It will be ready for use in three weeks time, but already features items such as a 1940s radio, a wooden iron, and seats from the period - donated by local second hand shops.

Other local businesses have donated goods that have been raffled to raise money for the transformation.

Staff at the Coombe End Court home in Marlborough, Wiltshire, where the idea was first tried, say it has lowered the amount of anti-psychotic drugs used to treat patients.