National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool is a group of museums and galleries. Our diverse venues attracted more than 3 million visitors in 2011. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. Find out about some our top treasures. National Museums Liverpool's aim is to change lives by enabling millions of people, from all backgrounds, to engage with our world-class museums.

25 October 2013
North West
Local Alliances:
Liverpool Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists a number of outcomes that we are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

 The House of Memories is a pioneering dementia awareness training programme, created by National Museums Liverpool. It provides the health, social care and housing sector with practical skills and resources to support people to live well with dementia, in their local communities. This positively contributes to the wellbeing and quality of life of the person living with dementia, and offers potential alternatives to medication.

 As well as basic knowledge about the various forms of dementia, we introduce memory activity resources linked to the museum experience, which can be used within care settings. We demonstrate how information about a person’s family history and personality can be used to support an individual to live well with dementia. The programme cuts across traditional health and social care divides, bringing together partners and cements new relationships with a cultural provider.

 The programme was supported from the outset by Department of Health to help meet the actions outlined in the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia. More recent collaboration with NHS Merseyside and the TSB funded dallas programme has enabled a widening of focus and we are now exploring ways in which House of Memories can be used to promote health campaigns across the city region.

 2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

The museum sector does not traditionally play an established role within the dementia arena. It is therefore necessary to position House of Memories as a credible and an important tool for dementia awareness.  The greatest challenge for NML was to gain acceptance and support from the health sector by developing a learning tool that would be accessible, both creatively and intellectually, whilst also acknowledging the ‘real world’ challenge of supporting people to live well with dementia.

 Since launching House of Memories in early 2012, the level of success to date clearly demonstrates that the museum sector can provide relevant and meaningful health awareness training. Our challenge now, is to meet the demand for training by developing the programme further, and creating new models to cater for differences in sectors and regions. We also need to attract resources and funding that will enable us to meet that commitment.

2. Actions

  • Roll out dementia awareness training

    Building on our initial delivery of dementia awareness training to 3000 social care and health workers in 2012, we will target and deliver training to a further 3000 health and social carers between Winter 2013 and Spring 2015.

  • Consider cultural needs

    We will continue to consider the cultural and diverse needs of our communities in delivering House of Memories.

  • Disseminate findings

    We will disseminate the research findings from the ‘Northern’ model delivered at three regional venues based on that region’s local history in partnership with other cultural providers – Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Bury Art Museums and Tyne & Wear Archive & Museums.

  • Deliver 'Midlands' model

    We will deliver a ‘Midlands’ model of House of Memories in Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham regions in Winter/Spring 2014.

  • Work with Housing

    We will deliver a ‘Housing’ communities model of House of Memories with registered social landlords and housing associations in the Northwest (The Regenda Group, The Riverside Group and Liverpool Mutual Homes). This will be delivered in October 2013.

  • Work with health partners

    We will work in partnership with hospitals and acute care trust partners to develop a ward-based House of Memories. This may encompass training, bed-side or ward-based resources, and other changes to the hospital environment, as well as fostering a person-centre approach in practice to ensure individual needs are met alongside clinical requirements

  • Develop digital museum experience

    We will develop a ‘digital’ House of Memories that enhances and extends the resources available to carers that have been on the training, and that also offers a digital museum experience for people living with dementia and those that surround them.

  • Work towards becoming 'dementia friendly'

    We will continue to develop our museums and galleries to become dementia aware as public venues, with a long-term aim of achieving dementia-friendly status.