I spent a few hours yesterday cutting out the bunting for the upcoming Jubilee celebrations. It was tedious cutting 64 triangles, but now I procrastinate before sewing.
It's quite lovely bunting. I ordered it off the internet about two months ago so that I had plenty of time to get it done. Jubilee is in a couple of weeks! I know, I've left it relatively late!
Primarily it features the Union Flag and some guardsmen in their bearskins. I am using up some scraps of cotton material I had lying around for the back.
But what do you see?
Bits of material and a pair of shears? Yes, precisely that.
What do I see?
Well, that's completely different.
I see trips to the rag market in Birmingham. I see an old Singer sewing machine. I see many hours making a mess on the floor with thread and fabric scraps. I see two women searching for a dropped pin or needle and my dad finding it when he caught it with his toe. I see so much more than what is actually in that picture.
Why do I see these things?
The shears belonged to my mom, who died 30 years ago. She was a tailoress and an avid sewer, making clothes and furnishings. Those scissors hold memories.
It sets me thinking that if I had dementia, what would bring back memories for me other than those tailoring shears?
My pencils for sure. I've always enjoyed drawing and use them a lot now to do dog portraits. They are an extension of me and have been since I was a small child.
A notepad and pen. Something else I have done since a child is sitting and writing stories. I still like to go to a cafe and sit and scribble words, or images of people around me.
So why am I telling you this?
Discover what holds memories for you. Spend a few minutes holding items you treasure from your own past.
These simple, everyday things hold memories. If you work with someone with dementia, these simple things are invaluable. Find something familiar to them; see what develops from using the item or just feeling it. Let their memories come to the fore and listen to their stories come alive.
This can be done on a 1:1 basis or as a group sitting around in a circle with the residents sharing their stories. If you have the technology, you could even sound record them to play later.
It's quite a lovely bunting. I ordered it off the internet about two months ago so that I had plenty of time to get it done. Jubilee is in a couple of weeks! I know, I've left it relatively late!