Care home opens a 1950s diner to stimulate memories for those dementia

Care home opens a 1950s-style diner to help stimulate memories for elderly residents with dementia – complete with a jukebox, milkshake machine and vintage road signs

  • The Anchor care home in Bradford has opened an on-site 1950s diner  
  • Is the latest installation with the home boasting its own cinema and corner shop 
  • Acts as reminiscence therapy which uses nostalgic surroundings to help stimulate memories and conversations for those that are living with dementia 

A care home in Bradford has opened a 1950s diner in order to help stimulate memories for residence with dementia.

The Anchor care home, in Mill View, celebrated the opening of its brand new on-site eatery, named The Pit Stop, two weeks ago.

Transporting residents back in time, the kitsch American diner which took 18 months to complete is kitted out with leather booths, a vintage jukebox and a milkshake machine. 

Bradford care home The Anchor has opened an on-site 50s diner to help stimulate memories for residence with dementia 

The home also features a 1950s barber’s chair and a American-style gas pump. 

The diner has been a labour of love for the care home’s staff members who worked on the project after residents voted on the kind of café they most wanted to see.

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It is the latest exciting addition to Mill View, which houses 50 residents, which already boasts an on-site cinema and a fully-functioning corner shop. 

The innovative installments form part of Anchor’s specialist dementia care and reminiscence therapy which uses nostalgic surroundings to help stimulate memories and conversations for those that are living with dementia.

It is the latest exciting addition to Mill View, which houses 50 residents, which already boasts a fully-functioning corner shop (pictured)

Transporting residents back in time, the kitsch American diner which took 18 months to complete is kitted out with leather booths, a vintage jukebox and a milkshake machine

The project has been self-funded through community events and fun days held at the care home, with staff scouring antique markets, car boot sales, and eBay to find the one-off period pieces to bring the diner to life – all without any professional contractor’s help.

Mill View Manager, Tee Tatum, who led the project, said: ‘It has been a joy for us as a team at Mill View to be able to create the diner and make the residents’ dreams a reality. 

‘There’s not a day the booths have been empty since Elvis helped us open its doors! The care home feels like a real community which is exactly what we wanted to achieve. 

The care home also boasts a fully-functioning vintage cinema as well as the diner 

The Anchor houses 50 residents and uses the vintage installations as part of its reminiscence therapy

‘Whether putting in a short shift at the corner shop, getting their hair done in the salon, watching a film at the cinema, or playing a favourite song on the jukebox, residents are able to go back in time and enjoy memories of their youth.’

The diner’s opening party saw an Elvis Presley impersonator entertain the residents, friends and families with a medley of hits while the kitchen served up a fitting meal of Chicken a la King and Baked Alaska. 

On-going, the diner will be open daily for residents to visit and used for one-to-one reminiscence sessions where residents can talk to carers about their memories of the 1950s.

The diner will act as a familiar setting for residents helping to put them at ease

The diner will be an easily recognisable space for residents living with dementia which will put them at ease so they can focus on talking to carers about happy memories.

There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, expected to increase to over one million by 2025. 

Reminiscence therapy is just one example of the many methods of person-centred care used by Anchor, the care and housing provider for older people. It is popular with residents, and particularly helps carers to stimulate conversations with older people living with dementia.   

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