With millions of vulnerable elderly people at home with limited social contact, a new online service could offer them a valuable trip down memory lane.

Dubbed “Netflix for Seniors”, Living Memories Online CIC brings memories back to life through archive films and newsreels from the 20th Century. The films capture everyday life at home and work. Viewers can also tune into important national events. 

The not-for-profit social enterprise, Living Memories aim to reduce isolation and help improve the health and wellbeing of older people.

The old films encourage elderly people, including those with dementia, to reminisce with families, friends and carers.

For a monthly subscription of just £5, individuals, care homes and other organisations can search for films by decade and topic.

Living Memories hopes these films open a gateway for the elderly to discuss topics through rekindling their memory.

Brian Norris, founder of Living Memories CIC, says:

“Archive films are a wonderful way of prompting older people to share memories and life experiences. Long-term memory is usually one of their strengths, so reminiscence encourages them to communicate and feel more confident about themselves. Living Memories Online makes reminiscence activity much more widely available.

The CIC was developed by Brian and his wife Leonore after long practical research with older people, including those with dementia. It already publishes DVDs and reminiscence resources and for some time has been running Tea and Memory groups where archive programmes and newsreels are shown to community groups.

Brian says:

“At the group sessions, we found that many older people, including those living with dementia, who had previously been reluctant to talk started to reminisce about their lives and shared experiences, to make new friends and get to know their neighbours.”

Visit Living Memories to find out more.

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About Author

Uzma Gulbahar holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University College of London. She is particularly interested in exploring untold stories surrounding marginalised groups, identity and culture.

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