A TROON care home has launched an innovative new ‘ice breaker’ game in a bid to spark memories between residents living with dementia.

Belhaven House have introduced ‘conversation balls’ to encourage better social interaction and mental health exercise with residents.

The balls have random questions attached which are designed to spark a memory or share a fond experience with other members of the activity group.

The activity can also be conducted as a one-to-one session with a dedicated and highly skilled member staff.

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The care home, run by Mansfield Care, say the game is proving popular with the majority of residents taking part.

Belhaven House Home Manager, Fiona Hunter, said: “It can be a comfort to those who have dementia as it encourages them to reminisce and maybe focus on different things that day.

“The activity also helps spark conversations with other residents who have similar thoughts and experiences and build relationships with others within the home.

“In the past we would’ve had large groups maybe 10-12 at a time, however during these last few months it’s been one to one with staff.

“Currently 85 per cent of our residents are taking part in the sessions which shows what an impact it has had.”

The balls are thrown to each resident who are encouraged to catch the balls, before throwing them to the next resident.

The game is used along with memory boxes and a use of music to help jog the memories of residents.

The activity is not only helpful to residents, but also to staff members who are finding it useful to learn about each resident and to develop long-term relationships.

Fiona added: “At Belhaven House, like all Mansfield Care homes, we look to ensure the activities are led by the wishes of the residents.

“Not only does the Conversation Balls develop cognitive behaviour, but it also helps our residents get some physical exercise.”

She revealed: “One of our residents Sadie said when she arrived at Belhaven House she didn’t know anyone.

“But the ball helped her start conversations and allowed her to be herself.”