Meet the Maker: Hand i Pockets

Hand i Pockets is a very inspiring way to engage people with dementia through their hands, craft, play and technology….

2016 Sydney Mini Maker Faire

'Kit-e Kat Pocket' 2014 ‘Kit-e Kat Pocket’ 2014

Hand i Pockets is a funshop that invites YOU to come along and make objects for fun and enjoyment to stimulate persons with dementia. It involves playing with craft textiles, hacking toys and embedding electronics.

Life can be increasingly limited for people with dementia – but everyone likes to have something to do, things to fiddle and play with or games to amuse. This funshop gives you a chance to contribute ideas for new activities for people with dementia.

What stuff, would you like to play or fiddle with? What would make you laugh? What would you put in your pocket?

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Tales of an iPad

This inspiring article demonstrates how using I-Pads can benefit people with mental health issues including dementia. This is something that resonates with my interests in ‘hands’ and the creative part of the brain in persons with dementia being the area of the brain that remains the most intact until the later stages of the disease – there are more nerve connectors between the hands and the brain than any other part of the human body. So using I-pads with participants is something well worth exploring in terms of touch and kin aesthetics, music, I-Pad Art, photography, reminiscence, films; the potentialities to engage and improve wellbeing for persons living with dementia using I-Pads are boundless…! When I carried out an artist residency in a care home populated by people with dementia I used an I-Pad on a few occasions to show the participants photos I had taken of their hands and it proved to be very engaging and accessible. I’m looking forward to trying this out more with my participants. Thanks to Susan Anderson for her inspiring post!

Hospice Matters

by Susan Anderson, HPCCR Social Worker

Editor’s Note: A couple of years ago, a social worker at HPCCR found that she could get many of her formerly unresponsive dementia patients to engage with her if she brought her iPad to their visits.  And just like that, an entire organizational program was created around using iPads with dementia patients.  Realizing both the success and the potential of the program, what quickly followed was an effort to raise money to purchase iPads for all HPCCR social workers.  While many of them are fortunate to have one, there are still others — like Susan Anderson — who share one with another social worker.  Our fundraising efforts continue; if you are interested in learning more about supporting this worthwhile program, visit the dementia care page on our website, or contact our Development Department at 704.375.0100.  Meanwhile, let Susan’s stories below awe and inspire you! 

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Caring for someone with dementia

Swapna writes...

In November last year, a friend asked me to write a 700 word article on dementia caregiving for a souvenir. Though I’ve written extensively about dementia and related caregiving, the imposed word-limit forced me to weigh each sentence, each word. What should I include? What to exclude? While I didn’t manage to say all I wanted, I realized that a one-pager overview of a vast topic can be a relief after the rambling posts I typically make on this blog. So here’s the article, unchanged (I confess that I was sorely tempted to expand it, but I desisted 🙂 ). Note that the article was written assuming very poor dementia awareness, as the intended readers were based in India.

Caring for someone with dementia

by Swapna Kishore

Family members, friends, and colleagues often want to support persons with dementia, but are unsure how to proceed. Below is a brief overview…

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I am officially a Dementia Friends Champion!

This national campaign aims to find 1 million Dementia Friends by 2015 and create dementia friendly communities in order to help people live better with dementia.


A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help.

Find out more info about becoming a Dementia Friend or a Dementia Friends Champion here or see below more information from the Dementia Friends Official Website

What is a Dementia Friend? 

A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action – anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend. From helping someone to find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia on social media, every action counts.

If you are interested in becoming a Dementia Friend and joining a national initiative that will help people living with dementia feel included in their communities, then you need to register as a Dementia Friend and go to one of our Friends’ information sessions.

Information sessions

Friends’ information sessions are run by Dementia Friends Champions, who are volunteers who have taken the Dementia Friends Champions’ training. Each Friends’ information session lasts around one hour. You will learn more about dementia and how you can help to create dementia friendly communities. There are information sessions running across England.

Turning understanding into action

After the Dementia Friends’ information session we want you to tell us about how you are going to turn your understanding of dementia into a practical action. You will get lots of ideas about the actions you can take at your Friends’ information session, and there will be lots of other ideas on this website. You don’t have to commit to doing something time-consuming.  Every action counts.

Dementia actions could include:

  • behaving patiently with someone showing the signs of dementia
  • spending more time with, helping or supporting a friend or relative affected by dementia
  • signposting people affected by dementia to more information and support
  • volunteering with an organisation to support people with dementia.
  • fundraising for a dementia-related cause.
  • helping your workplace to be more dementia friendly.
  • telling other people about Dementia Friends or spreading the word through social media.

I Remember Better when I Paint screens in Fort Meyers, Florida on February 18, 2014

I Remember Better When I Paint

I Remember Better When I Paint screens at the Lee Country Alliance for the Arts in Fort Meyers, Florida followed by a panel discussion.

Date: Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Location: Alliance for the Arts, Foulds Theatre
10091 McGregor Blvd. Ft. Myers, FL
For more information click here.

This feature length documentary explores the positive impact of art and other creative therapies in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and how these approaches can change the way the disease is viewed by society. The film examines the way creative arts bypass the limitations of dementia disorders such as Alzheimer’s and shows how patients’ still-vibrant imaginations are strengthened through therapeutic art. Produced and directed by Eric Ellena and Berna Huebner, I Remember Better When I Paint is narrated by actress Olivia de Havilland who played Melanie Hamilton in “Gone with the Wind.”

The film’s co-creator…

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Dementia and self esteem

This is such a wonderful blog written by a truly inspirational woman, writer, mother, daughter. and much much more..!

self-esteemUnfortunately, I had low self esteem right into my thirties, like a dark cloud hanging out in the background of my subconscious. I was quite shy as a child, and always wanting approval as we rarely received positive feedback, no matter how well we did at something. My self esteem developed after many years of reading and attending motivational conferences and seminars, lots of self evaluation and reflection, in fact, a lot of hard work!

It did not come easily to me, and with broken relationships and the death of someone I had loved, it was often easier to ignore my own worth, and blame myself. I have delved deep into my subconscious, and many of my book shelves definitely look like the inside of an Adelaide self help bookshop called COPE!

My self esteem was soaring, not egotistically, but in a healthy way, and then along came dementia. The shame, stigma, discrimination and…

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Benjamin Button Effect: What Do You Do When Your Mom Cries Out Like a Baby?

Role reversal: the loving hands of a daughter taking care of her mother…

My Demented Mom

3728905329_4b47a1b5cc_bIt was around 8pm last night when I started watching some of the videos I had taken of my mom. In the more recent ones, she is yelling — a lot. That’s all she can do. She can’t talk. I take these videos because, I feel like people don’t believe me when I say, ‘I think she’s in pain.’ And because past is prologue — I once had to show my video of her crying to the nurse at her home and the hospice team in order for them to give her morphine and up her Haldol — I take videos so I am always armed with evidence.

And they wonder why caregivers lose their minds…………………………

As I watched these videos of her yelling, her face twisted and anguished, I told my boyfriend who was watching these 30 second snippets with me, that someone in my support group said that…

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