House of Memories

National Museums Liverpool to launch House of Memories in the US to help Americans to live well with dementia


Exploring the My House of Memories app Image courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Image: Exploring the My House of Memories app, courtesy Minnesota Historical Society  

National Museums Liverpool is delighted to partner with the Minnesota Historical Society, to launch the US version of our award-winning House of Memories dementia awareness programme on 24 September 2018, to help Americans to live well with dementia.


 Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease, and as the US population ages, the rate of diagnosis will grow. In addition, African-Americans are two times more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia than non-Hispanic whites.

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) will launch the House of Memories programme at the Minnesota History Center including a US version of our award-winning My House of Memories app, dementia awareness training workshops, resources and activities. The programme has been three years in the making through an exchange of knowledge and collaboration between the House of Memories team in Liverpool and museum colleagues at the Minnesota Historical Society.

House of Memories has been running at the Museum of Liverpool since 2012, and trained more than 12,000 professional and family caregivers across the UK to support people to live well with dementia. Person-centred care is at the heart of House of Memories training and acknowledges that an individual’s personal history and memory are of huge importance. Museums can be fantastic resources at helping unlock memories, improve communication and understanding, and enrich the lives of those living with dementia. 

The Minnesota Historical Society is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programmes and book publishing.

The US version of the My House of Memories app features more than 100 objects from the Minnesota Historical Society’s collections, which can help those living with dementia draw on memories to create personal connections with family, friends and caregivers.

The app includes objects, photographs, music and video that were curated by people living with dementia and their caregivers, including African-Americans who selected items that connect to the Black community. It features iconic objects from US history; from man’s first landing on the moon, to an Elvis ticket, with local Minnesotan objects including a Minnesota Vikings helmet, and an image of Dr Martin Luther King Jr speaking against war in Vietnam on the St Paul Campus of University of Minnesota in 1967.

Image: Minnesota Vikings helmet, courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

The easy-to-use My House of Memories app is free to download to tablets or smartphones. It has been downloaded more than 30,000 times since its launch at the House of Commons in 2014, and currently has more than 13,000 users, with more than 41,000 activities taking place on the app.

Professional caregiver workshops will run on 24 September at the Minnesota History Center in St Paul and 26 and 28 September at the Mayo Clinic’s Charter House in Rochester. Family caregiver workshops will be held in spring 2019. To find out more about the US workshops, visit mnhs.org/houseofmemories.

The Mayo Clinic’s Charter House, Rakhma Homes and St Paul African American Faith ACT Community are community partners on the US House of Memories programme.

Support for the US programme is provided by an Institute of Museum and Library Services planning grant and prestigious Community Anchors grant, and the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

The House of Memories team will be travelling to the US for the launch, so watch this space for more news from our team and follow us for updates of our journey on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for our e-newsletter.  


Tags:  house of memories, My House of Memories app, Minnesota Historical Society, dementia, World Alzheimer's Month, US, Minnesota, dementia awareness, National Museums Liverpool