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Mrs Marvellous-Catch A Memory

Catch a Memory creates useable art (lap quilts, cushions & aprons) with those living with dementia to aid memory and be nurturing during times of anxiety and distress. The recipient shares their story and either helps to create the item or has it made for them. The piece can then remind them of family members, hobbies, special places, treasured events. If going into residential care, the issue of limiting possessions can be minimised by incorporating treasures into their quilt or cushion which can be easily transported and taken through life with them, providing a sense of belonging and identity. Aprons can be worn daily to maintain dignity and reduce frustration.

19 December 2016
Local Alliances:
Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Able to express feelings: It can be difficult to express feelings when words cannot be found. Being creative can address this positively. Revisiting old skills, learning new ones and feeling useful in creating their piece or talking about the past can be incredibly powerful.

Sense of belonging: Being able to retain snippets of one's past within an object when treasures have to be parted with can aid a sense of grounding and belonging.

Being heard: Telling one's story, reliving happy memories and social engagement contribute to feelings of value.

Tangible memories: The bereaved, elderly and those living with dementia fear they will forget their past and those they love. Photographs, words, pattern, smell and touch all stimulate memories, keeping them alive.

Have something to hug: Touching, seeing, feeling, hugging and being wrapped in something that provokes positive memories can be therapeutic, calming and comforting. Just as children can often be calmed by hugging their favourite toy or blanket, so a person with memory loss may also be soothed by a memory quilt or cushion.

Dignity: Wearing the apron during the day or for memory café activities can reduce frustration when clothes get messed thus a feeling of inclusion.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

The project is set up specifically to provide these outcomes.

If a person does not wish to engage in the creative process they can still gain great benefit from talking about their past to give ideas for the creative process to happen.

The challenge will be getting funding to be able to offer the service at a realistic price to all. The items are bespoke and not mass produced but I do not wish for them to be exclusive and not accessible for all.

This is a very labour intensive process requiring 1:1 time for quality social engagement. Therefore staff will need to be carefully recruited.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Adapt leaflets to ensure they are dementia friendly.

    Ask Claire Puckey (Dementia Friendly City Coordinator, Plymouth City Council) to take a look at written material and advise on how it can be improved to be more user- friendly.

  • Ensure website is dementia friendly.

    Ask for feedback on the Mrs Marvellous website and adapt the pages to ensure it is easy to navigate and understand, making it clear what services are provided and how to contact us. Ensure the colours and designs are not confusing and disruptive.

    Initial Scoping
  • Recruit staff and train.

    Ensure staff have the required empathy to chat with recipients, drawing out information with dignity and respect. The ability to listen and question appropriately, attend a dementia friends awareness session and have DBS check in place.

    Initial Scoping