Dementia charity The Memory Box Network has launched a new website to help improve the well-being of dementia sufferers. Our Big Box is a "digital treasure chest" to which memorable photos can be saved. It is aimed at improving psychological health by stimulating reminiscence and interaction.
Our Big Box was launched at the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Awareness Week Conference in Glasgow. The site allows users to create profiles for dementia sufferers that include information about their age, where they have lived, their education and jobs, hobbies, interests and friends. Photos from the individual's past can then be uploaded and used to stimulate discussion in random or curated sessions. Helpers can also be added to assist with populating an individual's "memory box" or simply to have access for running sessions.
"There is no cure for dementia, but there are creative and engaging ways of improving the quality of life for all those affected by the condition," explains Scott Downie, chief executive of Memory Box Network in a press release. "Users of ourbigbox.com will be able to share their memories and stories with not only many generations of their family, but also with carers in a residential home, which leads to a greater understanding of the individual and stronger bonds."
Downie outlined some other benefits of Our Big Box. These include its low barrier to entry, which means it is not just limited to use by professionals, and its portability, with sessions able to be pre-loaded onto a digital device and used even where there is no internet access.
Our Big Box is free to use and was funded by the Nominet Trust. The charity aims to attract six million users over the next three years.