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Evaluation of the House of Memories Family Carers Awareness Day 2017

In 2016, NML launched the House of Memories family carers awareness programme with funding from Department of Health, working in partnership with New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester; Salford Museum and Art Gallery; and the British Museum, London. Designed specifically for family carers and community-based volunteers, the half-day programme uses museum collections and resources to advocate empathic communication with people living with dementia; enable greater understanding within the care community of a person’s history and life experience; empower family carers with information and ideas that they can use on a daily basis; promoting community wellbeing and resilience.

Researchers at the Institute of Cultural Capital (ICC) evaluated the programme as part of the Crossing Boundaries study, complementing successive evaluations of House of Memories health and social care model(s) (2013-16). Researchers used a mixed-method approach, combining quantitative profiling of participants’ care responsibilities and museum engagement; standardised measures of subjective wellbeing and care burden (adaptations of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale and Zarit Burden Interview); participant observation of live sessions; qualitative interviewing with programme partners; and social value research including social return on investment analysis (SROI).

Data show positive outcomes concerning the understanding and practice of person-centred care, including strategies to reduce the stigma associated with dementia; to support living well with the condition; to promote dignity, respect and compassion in dementia care; and to combat isolation, social exclusion and loneliness. From a strategic perspective, social value data validates the personal outcomes of the programme relating to subjective wellbeing, dementia knowledge and awareness and person-centred care practices. As a social return on investment for commissioners and key stakeholders, analysis shows an SROI ratio of £1: £18.73 over a projected five-year period.

Click here for a copy of the full research report, which complements ongoing research on the value and impact of NML’s House of Memories health and social care model designed to support carers working in health and social care sectors and ancillary public services.

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