The Impacts of Museum-Led Dementia Awareness Programmes on Informal Caregivers’ Subjective Wellbeing. a Critical Analysis about the House of Memories Programme

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Rafaela GANGA, Institute of Cultural Capital, United Kingdom
Kerry WILSON, Institute of Cultural Capital, United Kingdom
Gayle WHELAN, Institute of Cultural Capital, United Kingdom
This paper draw on the results of an empirical understanding of the impact of House of Memories Family Caregivers’ Awareness Day across four museums in England on the subjective well-being of 66 participating dementia caregivers. House of Memories is an award-winning dementia awareness programme led by National Museums Liverpool (NML) in the UK that uses museums’ collections to support caregivers to develop reminiscence activities with people with dementia. My House of Memories app was launch in 2012 and since then has register more than 12 000 downloads worldwide.

Crossing Boundaries: The value of museums in dementia care developed a mixed-method pre-post approach, combining quantitative profiling of participants' care responsibilities and museum engagement; standardized measures of subjective well-being and care burden (adaptations of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale and Zarit Burden Interview); and delegates’ comments on the session collected by National Museums Liverpool Marketing Department. Parametric statistic and thematic exploration were used for data analysis.

Profiling of care responsibilities and perceived burden shows that the research sample can mostly be defined as ‘care managers’. Concerning the wellbeing of participating carers, data show positive outcomes concerning strategies to reduce the stigma associated with dementia; from a strategic perspective, social value data validates the personal outcomes of the programme relating to carers’ subjective wellbeing, dementia knowledge and awareness and person-centred care practices. Our research also demonstrates that almost all (91%) House of Memories participants had never used a museum for memory or reminiscence activities and the majority of them (75%) never used an IPad for the same purpose before House of Memories.

Findings are suggestive of the potential of the House of Memories programme to improve the lives of informal caregivers, particularly concerning three areas: dementia awareness, carers’ self-recognition, and subjective well-being.