Royal Navy Veterans Take a Step Back in Time on Southampton Water

Westacre residents passing beneath the Itchen Bridge

Residents from Westacre Nursing Home, Winchester, spent a day on Southampton Water, recalling memories of serving in the Royal Navy and sailing in the Solent.

Westacre Nursing Home is dedicated to providing its fifty residents with innovative residential dementia care and nursing care. Part of Westacre’s care utilises reminiscence therapy to help residents recall memories from the past.

A number of the homes residents grew up around the Solent and enjoyed time sailing and serving in the Royal Navy in younger years. To help the resident recall these memories, Westacre enlisted the help of the charity, Solent Dolphins. Solent Dolphins operate out of the Hythe Marina and offer free trips on Southampton Water for up to 12 people with disabilities.

The twelve Westcare Nursing Home residents that went to Solent Dolphins enjoyed three hours on M/V Alison MacGregor – Solent Dolphins’ purpose-designed boat named after the daughter of major donors, Jimmy and Muriel MacGregor. During their trip, residents enjoyed a relaxing cruise along the Southampton Water and ventured up local rivers including the River Itchen.

Royal Navy Veterans from Westacre visit Southampton Water

Royal Navy Veterans from Westacre visit Southampton Water

The purpose of the trip was for the residents to experience reminiscence therapy. For most people with dementia, recent memories are more difficult to recall than past memories from years before. This trip was a chance for the Westacre residents to recall memories of sailing on Southampton Water in their youth.

Diana Hearn, Manager of Westacre Nursing Home, said:

“We are very keen to continually push forward with our reminiscence therapy. We have seen the positive effect this form of therapy has first-hand, and the residents really enjoyed their time on Southampton Water, recalling memories from over 50 years ago.”

This trip to Solent Dolphins is part of Westacre’s recent reminiscence therapy programme which also includes the ‘Reminiscence Caravan’. Complete with décor from swinging sixties and seventies, the vintage caravan helps residents recall times spent on family holidays.

For more information on Westacre Nursing Home, request a brochure.