Forget Me Not Book, UK start up company, have developed an innovative free web application to benefit some of the most digitally excluded people, those needing care. It has found a way to help reduce feelings of isolation in residents and improve activity and stimulation by bringing friends and family together with care staff and residents, online, in a collaborative effort to create special and personal memory books.
Online books may be printed and whilst paper based memory books are not unique, developing a wholly private social network platform to deliver this, is new. It enables more people to take part with a common cause, allowing for a unique insight into someone from a variety of perspectives.
Family and friends create books together online, wherever they are in the world. By inviting carers to this “virtual book” they are provided with an immediate and thoughtful insight into the individual which they can use to get to know and understand that person better and stimulate conversation. Life-histories taken by care homes can sometimes be bland, fact based documents. Forget Me Not Book felt that actual stories of events and anecdotes written by friends and family with, or on behalf of, residents and illustrated with beautiful photographs, will provide far richer content, which can be continually updated. It allows strong relationships to form between caregivers and residents who can enjoy a real connection and is a recipe for successful delivery of better quality care.
Forget Me Not Book are working with several large care home groups to roll out it's memory book to the families of residents. Somerset Care Group in particular has really embraced the idea, seeing it as a fantastic way to collect the life stories of their residents which they know will improve their well being and will help staff to delivery higher quality care. Forget Me Not Book form part of their wider digital strategy to incorporate technology to improve the delivery of care. Staff are being trained to use email and Skype and memory books are the third element to underpin their life-story work.
The collaborative memory book website benefits care home residents by gaining a greater sense of well-being and reduction in social isolation. Families feel happier they have a way to help in the well-being of their loved one by providing content. Books are a great tool to use during visits and lots of fun for families to create! They allow content, particularly photos, which can be widely distributed throughout families to be brought back together.
Families could read incredible stories they've never heard before, discover new things about their relatives and see photos they didn't even know existed!
Jon Lale, founder of Forget Me Not Book says "Care staff undeniably gain better insight into the person in their care using our books. We would like to see more homes using our books in the future, not just homes with internet access and would like to encourage families to print books for their loved ones to keep with them....We believe our product and service does so much good to the lives of residents, their carers and families, that we provide the service free of charge so that as many people can benefit from it as possible. Charges only apply when printing a book."