AN East Renfrewshire care home has launched an initiative that uses postcards to bring back fond memories for elderly residents and those living with dementia.

Staff at Eastwood Court Care Home, in Giffnock, are encouraging members of the public to send in postcards from around the world in a bid to help residents reminisce about places they have visited throughout their lifetime.

Since the project was kick-started, scores of postcards have arrived from the likes of Austria, Italy and the United States of America.

Barrhead News: Care home residents have enjoyed ‘travelling’ the worldCare home residents have enjoyed ‘travelling’ the world

Lorraine Douglas, manager at the care home, told the Barrhead News: “We started up the initiative a number of weeks ago – it’s called the Postcard Appeal.

“It was to try to involve people from outwith the care home so the residents could get to see where others go on their holidays.

“The idea is that these postcards remind them of the places they have travelled to during their own life.

“We’re really pleased with the response. We’ve had a lot of postcards sent to us already, which is great.

“The residents are really enjoying it and, every morning, they ask me ‘is there any post today?’

“We have had postcards from all over the world – from places like Donegal and even San Francisco.

“Some of their favourites have been postcards which arrived from Rome and Venice.”

Research suggests that initiatives such as the Postcard Appeal can be effective in helping care home staff ‘connect’ with residents who are elderly or living with dementia.

The idea is that providing the residents with material items that have a link to their own past can help to jog memories and open up lines of communication.

One care home in Bristol recreated a 1950s street and shops for its residents.

The street, which staff dubbed ‘Memory Lane,’ featured a red brick bus stop, an old-fashioned Post Office, a greengrocers, a phone box and a pub.

It also boasted various memorabilia from the 1950s, such as ration books, old magazines and newspapers from the period.

If you would like to support the Postcard Appeal, send your postcards to Eastwood Court Care Home, 1 Eastwoodmains Road, Giffnock, G46 6QB.