Downham Market care home residents will be rockin’ along

Downham Grange home manager Peter Barlow. Photo: SUBMITTED.
Downham Grange home manager Peter Barlow. Photo: SUBMITTED.

The rock ‘n’ roll era of the 1950s is set for a comeback at a care home in Downham as staff are creating a retro activities lounge.

The project at Downham Grange in Clackclose Road, is designed to bring back memories for its residents, some of whom are living with dementia.

Home manager Peter Barlow said: “Our plan is to wallpaper the room in a pattern typical of the era and we will be building a wooden cabinet for the television to give it the right look.

“Staff are looking in auctions and bric-a-brac shops to find suitable old gramophones, records and radios. The dream would be to find an old jukebox.

“We will also be putting up pictures of film stars from the era such as Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne.”

Mr Barlow, who is being helped by activities co-ordinator Bex Horsbrugh, said encouraging reminiscence was an important way of bringing back precious memories to people living with dementia.

And now staff at the care home are asking members of the public to donate anything they might be able to.

He said: “I would appeal to the public to kindly donate items of memorabilia. We are looking for anything from 1950s clothes to items of furniture.”

The home plans to unveil its retro lounge during a public open day taking place on Saturday, March 11 from 2pm to 4.30pm.

People are invited to visit Downham Grange on that day for afternoon tea and to take a tour of the home and facilities with Mr Barlow.

The open day will also be part of the celebrations for the 65th wedding anniversary of a resident and her husband.

Anyone willing to donate memorabilia is asked to call Mr Barlow on 01366 387054.