Community Engagement: MHL Reminiscence Project

The Reminiscence project was facilitated by the My Home Life NI team, collaborating with residents in care settings and college students.

The Reminiscence project led to the My Home Life NI team co-creating a programme of intergenerational activity with a particular focus on technology facilitated reminiscence using the InspireD app.

The InspireD App, which was created at Ulster University using expertise in Nursing, Computing and Design with the lived experience of Dementia NI members and a local app developer Scaffold Digital to create an app which has the power to enhance the lives of individuals living with dementia.,

Technology assisted  methods of engagement and communication were identified in light of the isolation experienced by care home residents during the Covid pandemic where residents experienced a loss of emotional support and consequently a reduction in shared activities.

The InspireD App offered a personalised experience for residents to upload their favourite music, photographs, videos, and recording of stories that they enjoyed. Reminiscence can empower residents, as it focuses on story-telling topics that are individualised and meaningful.  InspireD is designed to help people living with dementia to stay connected to family and friends by sharing memories and triggering conversations that may not otherwise have happened.

The impact of the Reminiscence Project was plain to see with many of the residents recounting the instant feeling of being happy when they saw the student coming in.  Residents may not have known the student's name but they knew they liked talking to them. Staff and families reported many of the residents faces ‘’just lit up’’ when the students arrived. The family of residents recognised the therapeutic value of the project and were pleased they could continue to use reminiscence long after the programme had finished. One resident reflected that talking about memories from the past had helped her remember even more memories from time gone by.

Students who took part in the project stated that they enjoyed getting to know the residents living in care homes and in particular learning how to communicate effectively using reminiscence approaches facilitated by technology. Student reflections on the project were that they saw ‘’care homes as rich and vibrant places to live’’ and ‘’residents can still do many things, I can learn a lot from older people’’.

If you would like further details of the Reminiscence Project please contact Rosemary Bradley at

The InspireD App is available for download via the App Store or get it on Google Play or alternatively visit the InspireD App webpage