Home | Blogs | Memory Boxes

Memory Boxes

idea.nottingham.ac.uk image: Dementia Day to Day blogs banner

Topics: 
approaches to dementia care, care services and care homes, respite care
Memory Boxes

Following the ‘Cumulative Caring Crises’ that I posted about recently (blog post here: https://idea.nottingham.ac.uk/blogs/posts/cumulative-caring-crises-and-residential-ripples) we have now accepted a respite care bed for my dad at the lovely residential home near me. My sister travelled over from France especially to bring dad up to Nottingham following his hospital appointment to check the progress of his bladder cancer. We are not mentioning the ‘L’ (Long-Term) word – just giving him time to settle and benefit from the attention, help and kindness of the staff.

It is hard and sad to see him alternating between being unsure and asking about going home, and being settled and enjoying a meal out with us and a walk by the canal. The home is busy and colourful – something that dad is not used to but that results from their caring, hands-on approach. My sister described it as ‘like Tracy Beaker’s orphanage – all bright colours and busyness’!

I feel too emotional to report in depth, but wanted to share the image below. The home has ‘Memory Boxes’ outside each bedroom where residents can display photos and objects that remind them of people that are important to them, or show a little about their tastes, hobbies and life. It is wonderful to walk along the corridor of bedrooms past model sports cars, or Forest shirts and football paraphernalia, or faded sepia photos of childhood days with mum or dad. 

So I got out my felt-tips and produced a ‘Best Dad’ image with a steam train and mounted a photo of dad with his three daughters below. I hope it helps him find his room and remember that we love him, although I think he will respond more to the idea of steam and a good chug-chug sound!

Your comments

You'd be very welcome to leave a comment on this blog post.  You do need to be logged in to leave a comment, if you don't already have a username and password you can register here.

Your comment won't appear straight away as we'll need to check it first: thank you for your patience.

When leaving comments please bear in mind our posting rules.

See more like this

Farai Pfende

I am looking forward to the upcoming TAnDem Arts and Dementia Conference entitled "Research into Practice", which is taking place later in September 2016 (see the following link for further details of the event:

Tom Dening

I wrote about apathy for DDD in 2015* but the topic is still important and even featured in today’s Daily Mail!** This leads me to pick up the quill again:

Anne de Gruchy

The situation with my lovely dad is becoming untenable. ‘Becoming’ is probably rather too tame a word for it – things have changed rapidly over the last nine months and I feel like we are dealing with a runaway steam train (dad would love that analogy) about to hit the buffers.