Dementia Artefacts


Mom lives in the present and is happy and contented on the whole. I think she lives fully in the present moment, with no worries of the future and no grudges of the past. She remembers little of her past anyway and not remembering doesn’t bother her.

Some others with dementia may suffer from memory tricks where the past is bright and clear, and the present foggy and confused. Such persons seem to be living in the past. They may talk about long dead persons as though they were still alive, and want to “go home” to another home which no longer exists. They are restless and disoriented.

To address disorientation, sometimes caregivers put out artefacts to trigger memories, conversation or even just to provide a familiar welcoming setting. Replicas of homes and items are recreated or purchased and displayed with fanfare. Personally I don’t think it works that well, because no recreation hits the mark for everyone, since everyone has a different past! National Museums Liverpool must be commended for curating items that suits a persons particular past, into a memory stimulating suitcase full of selected items. Do look them up.

Here I’ve cobbled together some examples of dementia care scenes in Singapore:

Cupboard of Items
Bigger than a suitcase, and it doesn’t need to fit into a scene. A useful way to introduce lots of artefacts in a small space.
Rustic Scene 1
Though not everyone with dementia grew up in such surroundings, this is still a very peaceful scene.
Rustic Scene 2
Hope the monkey doesn’t disturb anyone!
Home Setting
What a home might have looked like in the 1960s give or take 15 years. Mom would feel distressed in a place like this, because she would think she was a guest, and know that this is not her home.
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16 thoughts on “Dementia Artefacts”

  1. I’m a caregiver too. My client remembers only her past, and her 4 senses are gone. Not only that but she’s blind. But she can hear if you turn the t.v up full blast. I try to use music as a distraction. Sometimes that would help.

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  2. I hadn’t heard about the Liverpool Museum’s project. It was an interesting article. These things don’t work for everyone and I think it depends on what stage they are at. I remember taking Dad to a local museum thinking he’d be interested in seeing things he’d remember from growing up on a farm. It didn’t do anything for him. Taking him to a farm and letting him in amongst the cows was much more succcessful!

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  3. This is beautiful – thanks for sharing it! I’d like to add your blog to my “Blogroll for Caregivers” over at my website “Life on the Road Less Traveled” if that’s okay with you. I think others would appreciate this idea.

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