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Classic car helping East Dorset dementia sufferers reminisce
AN icon of British motoring is helping residents of an East Dorset dementia care home rediscover cherished memories.
More than 50 years after it was created, a rare 1958 Hillman Minx has been placed in the memory garden at Colten Care’s Fernhill home in Longham.
Residents can sit safely inside the stationary red and grey car and look back on days gone by.
Colten Care’s managing director Ian Hudson, who was a teenager in the 1960s, passed his driving test in his dad’s Minx, and drove around in it when he was the lead guitarist in a Shadows cover band.
In the 1970s, he bought his own for £75.
He said: “It brought back very happy memories to see the car coming to Fernhill.
“I’m sure it will be the same for many of our residents, and it will be a fabulous prompt for recollection and conversation.
“When people are living with dementia, their long-term memory can still be strong, and so we actively provide a wide range of memory prompts in our homes and gardens.”
A lorry-mounted crane lowered the Minx into the garden inside a specially-made cradle.
Colten Care’s transport manager John Carter, another former Minx owner, said: “When I saw it in a private garage in Port-smouth, it had been off the road for a while and I felt quite sorry for it.
“We’ve tidied up the paint work and thoroughly cleaned out the interior. Residents will now be able to sit inside it in comfort and share their thoughts of yesteryear.”
The Minx is the third vehicle installed at a Colten Care dementia care home recently as a prompt for memory stimulation.
In September 2012, a former London taxi was placed in the memory garden of The Aldbury in Parkstone, while in May, a Masset Ferguson tractor was put in the grounds of St Catherine’s View in Winchester.