Maidstone Care Centre, part of RCH Care Homes group wanted to support the Alzheimer’s Society’s 2021 Dementia Awareness Week. Always on the look out for innovative ways to support residents’ to continue to enjoy their hobbies and interests, the Lifestyle staff at this residential, nursing and dementia care home in Kent, regularly create Tik-Tok videos. “The residents enjoy taking part in making Tik-Tok video’s as it adds an element of being famous in their eyes.”, Georgia Williams, Lifestyle Assistant.
As a result, during a weekly group discussion, residents suggested they create a new Tik-Tok video, showing the importance of using preferred names and challenging negative stereotypes about older people and people living with dementia using social media.
The residents listed names and labels which they wouldn’t want to be called such as “babe”, “hun” and “poppet”, to name but a few. As one resident said, “I like to be called by my name as it is my proper name and belongs to me!” another commented, “I really do not like being called dear, it makes me feel old”. The Lifestyle Team then suggested using the 2008 hit ‘That’s not my name’ by the The Ting Tings to get their message across.
The residents’ thoroughly enjoyed making the video and getting their message out there, watching the video back there were lots of smiles and laughter at their starring performances! One member of the Lifestyle team commented that “taking a fun upbeat song and mixing it with a strong message that is important to the residents has been inspiring for us all.”
Originally the video was uploaded to Tik-Tok and had over 20,000 views. However, the video’s important message was captured so simply and effectively, that when The Alzheimer’s Society saw it, they reached out and asked if they could use it on their social media platforms; so far, the resident’s message has now been seen over 150,000 times.
The team at the home have been totally overwhelmed by the response, “Seeing the results and the impact the video has had on various platforms from Facebook to Instagram to YouTube, has been overwhelming, especially how it has resonated with people.” Sharon Barham, Lifestyle Assistant.
The home has been incredibly grateful to the support they have had since launching the video “The video’s message ‘I may not be able to remember my name but please remember mine!’, was so important to the residents, so the support we have received from Alzheimer’s Society has gone above and beyond our expectations” Tara Cole Lifestyle Lead.
Maidstone Care Centre’s General Manager Jacqui Gregg reiterated the importance of the videos message, “We are all part of one community here, but as a team we pride ourself on supporting the resident’s independence, ensuring that they have a platform to share their feelings and opinions, whether that is through resident meetings or staring in their own viral video. The importance of identifying a person by their chosen name or how they identify is a basic human right that we should all be afforded throughout our lifetime, whether 13 or 103.”
RCH Head of Dementia and Development said “Too often people assume that older adults or people living with dementia are not interested in social media and won’t be able to learn new ideas and concepts. The Lifestyle team at Maidstone have shown that with support our residents can enjoy using new technology for fun and to deliver important messages to all of us working in the care sector”.