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House of Memories is a creative app developed for National Museums Liverpool using creative technology to support those living with dementia and those affected by it. It has helped to raise the profile of the illness itself and the work of those done to support both those living with the illness and their carers. Mirroring the work of NML’s House of Memories dementia care training programme reduces the challenges the team faces in reaching people with dementia and their carers.

An award-winning app, NML’s House of Memories uses artistic interpretation, curatorship, museum education and reminiscence therapy techniques to work directly with those suffering from dementia and their carers. Part of the programme is an exercise where a team from NML brings objects from the museum to people with dementia. Being able to see, touch and smell the objects promotes and encourages discussion. A reminiscence therapy, it is an effective treatment that reduces anxiety and is a proven method of helping carers engage with people who have dementia. But, there is a limit to how many people the team can meet.

Working with NML, Innovate Dementia, and Mersey Care, Damibu developed an app, available on both Android and iOS matching the work of the House of Memories’ team. Incorporating dementia awareness and information on non-digital activities, the app also features a digital reminiscence activity. Browsing over 100 objects held within the app, the person living with dementia and their carer can prompt memories and discussion. Developed using living labs, the app has been developed with input from older people and those with dementia, including design and the use of a touch screen.

“Working within the Cluster has enabled us to team up with companies working in the same space and creating better products and ideas. Support from the cluster has allowed us to connect more effectively with healthcare experts and providers.

With House of Memories the focus has been on working with people living with dementia and their carers, creating a living lab empowering them to define and determine what the app should look like. This is a revolutionary approach that has shifted the axis of the technology we create, the interface and how it is used and designed. That approach has been championed by the cluster itself and, we think, enabled us to create a more effective product that actively improves care and treatment”.