Catch a Memory began when Dad was diagnosed with dementia.
His confusion, loss of certain memories and fidgety hands frustrated him.
It was so distressing for him deciding what treasured items to take into residential care when he could no longer live at home. So the idea of a lap quilt was born. It featured precious memories and fidgety items to occupy active hands. This created a sense of identity and belonging for him as well as being nurturing when he felt anxious. It featured photos of us children as he remembered us in the 90's, the family on a Christmas walk and him and mum on holiday...
...a piece of Mum's wedding dress, her cardi, his jacket button... The shed key, laces to tie, embroidered words to remind him of special places and achievements... A dress they had made for Mum in Thailand mixed with fabric and trim to trigger memories of his precious garden and lawn... and fish to rekindle memories of snorkelling in the Cayman Islands.
Lots of textures give interest for fidgety hands and the items instigate conversation, encouraging engagement.
What is dementia?
The word dementia describes a range of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with perception, understanding, problem-solving or communication. Changes often start small but for someone with dementia they become severe enough for daily life to be affected.
Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases (Alzheimer’s disease is the most common) or a series of strokes or injury etc. No two people are affected in the same way as the specific symptoms will depend on which part of the brain has been damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.
For some people dementia can lead to social isolation, frustration and anxiety but It is important to remember that people can live well given support and lead fulfilling lives. Repetitive, rhythmic activity and reminisce work help to stimulate the brain, such as music, singing, art or other meaningful activity.
Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth