Memories of evenings in front of classic TV programmes are being used to help dementia sufferers remember things from the olden days, thanks to what's termed Reminiscence Therapy.

The idea is to use old clips to stimulate memories in parts of the brain, helping those with dementia to recall events and to give them a hook that can be used to stimulate interactions with friends and family today.

The BBC says over 17,000 people have viewed archive material as part of its BBC RemArc service, or Reminiscence Archive, which provides more than 1500 lumps of audio and visual material from the archives, some dating back to the 1930s.

BBC tech boss Matthew Postgate said: "It has been fascinating to hear accounts of how the service has helped improve quality of life for patients and their families, friends and carers.

I am very proud of the work that BBC RemArc has done and we will continue to work to improve the service to best serve their needs."

Which means that in 40 years time some of us will be propped up in a hospital bed being made to watch The Voice, as our grandchildren wonder why we're crying.

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