Pinfold Centre – Day 5
We are running reminiscence and art/writing workshops at the Pinfold Centre in Bury, working with people who have a dementia diagnosis to build up life-stories. These will be used as their disease progresses and memories erode.
We've run five sessions in the Pinfold Centre and are starting to develop some delightful work. Because reminiscence can be a challenge for someone with dementia, we tread as carefully as we can. However, the very process of remembering can engender upset, as can the content of memories. We've had a wonderful response to the workshops, but this week wanted to check with people about how they felt about the project and our plans for it. This week we started to introduce artwork and next week we'll try some poems, which Gladys is looking forward to, as you'll see below.
We've been very fortunate in working at this particular centre because the care and dedication of the staff is remarkable. This makes the participants relax and impacts in a hugely positive way on our work. Because people feel happy and safe, they'll take risks and plunge into trying out new things. Staff member Tracy gives a summing-up at the end of these comments.
|Ivy holding her printed postcards|
Some memories I like, some yes some no. It's surprising how it comes back. I like remembering back.
|Jackie and her print|
Yes, sometimes enjoyable, sometimes not. Mum was so strict...
Surprising what you can find as you go remembering. It comes to mind sometimes what we went through, fascinates me. Wonder how you manage to get through. It's one of them things you have to get over and build your muscles up. I've lived a serious life. A serious life, but I'd still do it again.
|Mary and her print|
I enjoyed everything, so I enjoy remembering. We all remember when we get together.
The happy, happy times, from when you were young many moons ago. It's brought the memories again, the happiness. I think of it when I go to sleep at night. It's had me laughing.
|Kathleen and her print|
My son will love this. This will bring it back, make the point. It’s concrete, as I told it. I can show that to anybody. Thank you, this has been very good.
Age, you accept. It depends on what you expect as you get older, whether you can do what you used to do. You might be an artist and not know it. Everything starts in a little way. For me, life's just going on as usual, the fact that I'm older seems to be a minor thing. I'd like to get going again with writing, it's rewarding if you can get something down in print. When I was at school I'd write stories – ridiculous of course, but a step on the way. You've got to get a nice sharp ending to make it readable.
I love it, the reminiscing – and they love it too. It's really good for them. They get a lot out of it, getting their own time and space. Because we're pushed for time and because some people stay very quiet in big groups, we don't really get to know some of the service-users very well. But here, they can come out of themselves and be themselves.