When MindCare Manager and avid Mazda fan, Saira picked up the keys to her new Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition, she knew she would be turning heads with its stylish looks and unique Racing Orange colour. Little did she know that she would also turn heads of people living with dementia at MindCare Dementia Activity centres.
Since joining Mindcare four years ago, Saira has supported countless local people living with dementia through her role, managing MindCare Dementia Activity centres in Beckenham and Orpington, plus the respite at home service in the community. After trading in her trusted MX-5 Nevada for the new MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition, Saira’s new car quickly became the hot topic of conversation, with more clients asking her about the car and even sharing their most cherished car-related memories and stories.
Turning Memories into Positive Experiences
After seeing how much the clients took an interest to Saira’s new car, MindCare staff and volunteers created car-inspired games to help further encourage positive memory recall. The games included recognising and matching car models, identifying road signs and iconic brand badges, word games and alphabet quizzes.
Clients shared memorable stories about passing their driving tests, cars they have previously owned or ever desired, emotions they experienced of being behind the wheel and what they felt future cars will look like.
The Impact of Giving Up Driving
While improving safety for people living with dementia and other road users, giving up driving due to dementia can have a significant impact on a person’s social life, health and wellbeing. Specialist dementia Centres like MindCare help to reduce the social isolation people can experience after giving up driving, and provide a safe and stimulating environment for social interactions.
Saira, Manager at MindCare said, “It’s amazing how much of a positive impact my new Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition has had on our clients. People may have had to give up driving because of dementia, but they still enjoyed reminiscing about their driving adventures and sharing those stories with each other.”
Adding, “we have a number of caring volunteers from the community visiting our clients – the youngest being six weeks old who attends as part of our baby steps project supporting new mums to feel less isolated and make local connections. With the number of people with dementia likely to increase in the borough, it is very important that we support people with dementia to live as well as possible and feel like valued members of the local community.”
For more information on MindCare dementia services and additional support, please visit www.mindcare.org.uk or call Saira Addison on 0208 289 3998