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Trial sees elderly people in Norfolk care homes shown old adverts

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 January 2020

History of Advertising Trust in Norwich have spearheaded a project to use its extensive archive to support care homes and those living with dementia. Picture: HAT

History of Advertising Trust in Norwich have spearheaded a project to use its extensive archive to support care homes and those living with dementia. Picture: HAT

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Iconic British adverts are at the centre of a new project to improve the quality of life for thousands of elderly people living in care homes.

The History of Advertising Trust (HAT), in Norwich, is using its collection to create Ad-Memorire, a digital reminiscence app.

Using adverts from the world's biggest brands, Ad-Memorie uses video and print adverts to engage people to remember the past.

Working with the University of East Anglia's innovation and health science specialist teams and Norwich based company SupaPass, the app is being trialed in a number of care homes to support residents and those with dementia and will be showcased nationally at the Dementia Care & Nursing Home Expo at the NEC Birmingham in March.

Jane Jarvis, Oral History Project Manager for HAT, said the app would support people such as her mum, to be able to talk about their memories by connecting it with adverts of the past.

She said: "The whole idea about ads is they were meant to be memorable, most of the time it had a catchy tune, it had something in there to make you remember the product.

"This is why its really idea for helping with reminiscence.

"It has incredible longevity. It stimulates the memories, it gets the brain working to get them chatting amongst themselves."

The app, which will be sold in packages to care homes, is currently using adverts from the 1950s and 1960s with further decades to come at a later date.

Alongside the print or video form advert, care homes will be provided with quizzes and puzzles.

HATS has developed a "Brand Bingo" game and "Ads of the Month" - which aims to alleviate loneliness.

Alistair Moir, Archive Collections Manager at HATS, who spearheaded the project, said: "The History of Advertising Trust is the largest archive of its kind in the world, and our collections have always proved invaluable educational tools.

"Now, it's a pleasure to be able to repurpose this content to create a service with a social benefit, that aims to help improve quality of life for older people in care including those living with dementia. Many of the ads in the reels are remembered fondly by care home residents and the resource is a great tool for supporting reminiscence and activity sessions, and also as a form of entertainment."

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