Dementia is a disease that affects a huge number of patients across the globe, but one group is using their combined passion for football in therapy. A squad of dementia patients in Inverness utilise football memories as a form of therapy and have recently been presented with their own official kit.
All the members of the Highland Football Memories network were given their newly printed tops at the Strothers Lane Dementia Resource Centre. This group meets once every month to share their memories of football and are aided by a dementia link worker from Alzheimer Scotland.
Rediscovering the Past
Every meeting kicks off with talk about old football photos, memorabilia or match programs from the end of World War II until around the early 1980s. Footage of old football matches is also often shown, and the activities and media are intended to help bring back memories of matches attended, goals scored, or even matches in which the members played.
For dementia sufferers, there is a daily struggle to plug memory holes and these discussions and activities allow participants to relive a part of their past that was positive and enjoyable. By remembering the bonds and camaraderie that they may have experienced before, their confidence is boosted and they can bond over a common idea.
The football team kits are similar to those available at stores such as https://www.kitking.co.uk/
and are sure to give members a confidence boost. The funds for the scarves and strips were donated by solicitors Macleod and MacCallum, and the dementia advisor who ran the session that saw the kit get handed out said that the group was an inspiration and that their kit was certainly a unifying factor and one of pride.
One long-standing member of the Football Memories Group has been enjoying the group’s gatherings for more than two years now, and he said that the kit was a welcome addition that made celebrating the past even more special. It wasn’t only the men who were given football kit; their wives were also given scarves with Alzheimer Scotland tartan brooches to celebrate their official WAG status. During the Football Memories network, the wives hold a separate meeting and discuss caring for people with dementia. The support to both parties is invaluable, and the football kit is sure to unite them even more.