Marge lives at Bruce Lodge, a residential care home for people living with dementia. Marge has a Community Circle who meet every six weeks and one of the things we always talk about at the circle is how far we have progressed with our actions. Pauline is Marge’s daughter and at the last meeting we had talked at length about Marge’s life and experiences. Marge really enjoyed reminiscing and we agreed that it would be helpful for the staff at the home if they too knew more about Marge’s history. Pauline decided to create a history file that had pictures and commentary of Marge’s family and events. She brought that to the last meeting and we all spent time turning the pages and talking about the events that had been immortalized in the black and white photos.
It was wonderful to see mum and daughter pouring over the family photo’s and to see how Marge was able to recall specific names and moments in time. The photo of Marge on her wedding day and her comment that “Fred was a good husband”, was particularly touching.
Pauline and I met up following the circle meeting, as we had agreed that it would be good to have some copies of the history file for family as well as staff. Pauline described that creating the file had been initially difficult as she had avoided looking at some of the family photos knowing that there would be ones of her deceased father and sister, however, having a purpose for doing this spurred her on. Pauline said that it felt like a good thing to do as she was able to recall happier times as a family and in putting the file together, members of Marge’s wider family had also asked to look through the file.
Pauline described sharing the history file with her Mum as being very emotional, “I could see that Mum was enjoying looking through and talking about the photo’s, even if she doesn’t remember them later on, we have still had a lovely moment together”.
Pauline is currently in the process of planning Marge’s 90th birthday celebrations, it will be lovely to see photo’s of this being added to the file as more “lovely moments” are preserved for Marge and her family to look back on.