Sketching for CARIAD – dementia project

I’m not a reportage kind of illustrator hence my “not-up to standard sketches” bellow, however I had the opportunity to observe and draw a presentation of Sensory-project gifts from CARIAD last Sunday (23rd Nov, 2015). CARIAD has been working with Gwalia Mydwydd Mawr nursing home in Carmarthen since earlier this year to provide patients with dementia with sensory aprons and HAND pockets in which function is to evoke their memories and senses. The aprons and pockets are individually customised based upon each patients’ life story. They are made of textile with a technology attached that can play sounds or songs.

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When patients were presented with the gifts, their memories were recalled from the customised items attached to the aprons, i.e. soft violins, soft dolls, tassels, flags, sounds, and evoked their senses from touching the texture or pattern of the textile. One patient started to sing once a bird chirping sound played, another patient started to tell stories of her traveling experience in Russia once she saw the flag, another patient was playing her soft doll because it reminds her of her children.

In my opinion this event has proof that recalling memories and senses through physical objects, conversation and play are important because it shows the essence of the person with dementia is still intact, hence their personality came back even though only for a little moment. It also a great way to reconnect with families through conversation and play.

Based upon this experience, I’d like to create a 2D-3D embroidery that can bring back that moment to highlight the importance of spending time with love ones and documenting the shared past or present moments and memories.

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