Dementia residents take trip down memory lane with taxi

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Media captionThe 1973 LTI Fairway cab was hoisted 90ft over trees then lowered into the garden

A 1970s taxi cab has been lowered by a crane into the garden of a dementia care home in Dorset to help trigger the memories of residents.

The 1973 LTI Fairway cab was hoisted 90ft over trees then lowered into the garden of the Aldbury in Parkstone.

It is hoped the cab will act as an aid to help residents to reminisce about journeys they took.

"It's interactive as they have conversations about it," operations manager June Gallagher said.

The maroon-coloured taxi, purchased by Colten Care's transport team from a collector on eBay, was inside a container as it was lifted into the garden by a 90-ton crane.

Lord Mountbatten

Mrs Gallagher said: "It was an amazing feat of engineering. They used an extremely big crane to take the taxi right over the trees before it was lowered into the garden and then the crate was opened.

Image caption The maroon-coloured 1973 LTI Fairway cab was lifted inside a container

"Four of our residents were very happy to get in the taxi and it started to trigger memories of times past when they may have used taxis."

On seeing the cab, one resident said recalled working in London for Lord Mountbatten.

"I'd like to go back to London for another jaunt to see my Mum, Dad and friends," she said.

Mrs Gallagher continued: "They have lovely memories and this is just one trigger we use.

"By reminiscing you can help bring back happy times but sometimes not so happy times.

"It enables you to interact with the residents and enables their families to have good conversations with them about things in the past."

Residents will be able to sit in the taxi and touch the interior and bodywork in a bid to remind them of past trips.

John Carter, Colten Care's transport manager, added: "It's a genuine Hackney taxi cab with 270,000 miles on the clock.

"Just think of all the people who have sat in the back since the 1970s and the stories it could tell."

Colten Care, which runs 19 care homes across southern England, is due to install a 1958 Hillman Minx in the garden of another of its dementia homes, Fernhill in Ferndown, as a prompt for memories and conversation.

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