THE DEMENTIA train carried elderly Teesside care home residents on a special journey from Whitby back to Middlesbrough.
Almost a dozen residents, carers and relatives from Mandale House Care Home, in Thornaby, took the latest “Forget-Me-Not Dementia Train” from the seaside town.
The 17-mile journey home saw the group enjoying live onboard entertainment from the Dave Clegg Duo, hand massages from a professional therapist, homemade shortbread treats, and a Dementia Friends run knitting class producing dementia badges.
The project was launched by Esk Valley Community Rail Partnership, North Yorkshire County Council, ACoRP and Northern Rail to provide a therapeutic day out for those with dementia.
Sarah Robinson, activities coordinator at Mandale House Care Home, said: “One of our residents, Pat Dobson, who is diagnosed with dementia, found the environment calming, relaxing and therapeutic. She didn’t feel her usual anxiety or stress and expressed what a wonderful day she’d had.
“The whole train ride from Whitby back to Middlesbrough was exceptional. The experience was amazing; having a safe environment with amazing views, which flooded everyone with memories from childhood and adulthood.”
The six residents, including Brenda Turner, Peter Wilson, Irene Fleming, May Cope, Pat Dobson, Eddie Pelling, were joined by two staff members and three relatives for the day out.
They first caught a standard train out to Whitby so they could enjoy the return journey on the specialist “Forget-Me Not Dementia Train”.
Sarah added: “The journey out to Whitby was also really special for the residents. They enjoyed the scenery and talked about their memories of the last time they boarded a train.
“May Cope was overwhelmed to be able to travel by train to one of her favourite places.
“Over the years, she had visited Whitby many times but felt that, due to her recent health conditions, she’d never be able to visit again.
“She had a tear in her eye for being given the opportunity and support to be able to achieve this goal once again.”