Book helping Thelma, 93, bring her memories to life
A 93-year-old Sanctuary Care resident who has dementia is reliving precious memories with her family thanks to a special book.
Thelma Parker, who lives at Brambles Residential Care Home in Redditch, has been able to reconnect with her past through chats with her daughter Rosie King.
In 2011, Rosie encouraged her mother to recount key moments in her life by using a book called ‘Dear Mum, from you to me. A Journal of a Lifetime’.
The book invites a person to write down their memories by answering questions about their life and since her mother was diagnosed with dementia, Rosie has been reading the pages back to her.
During lockdown Rosie continued to read her mother’s life story to her via video calls on FaceTime but she can now arrange to visit her in the garden or have a window chat.
The stories include from Thelma’s time as a nurse and also her experiences of life during the Second World War.
“Nine years ago I gave my mum this book and I’m so thankful I did,” Rosie explained. “It’s a blank book but with questions on every page like to be answered such as what her favourite hobbies were or what her earliest memory was.
“I kept the book in a box for years until she went to Brambles and I thought it would be nice to read it to her.
“Unfortunately, because of her dementia, she doesn’t know she’s done these things in her life but when I read it her face lights up so she does remember things.
“She can’t communicate with me very much now so I talk with her over FaceTime but I read this to her and I sing.
“I’ve been learning about her life as well and if she hadn’t have written them down I wouldn’t have known about them.”
Fiona Morsy, Activities Coordinator at Brambles, said: “It has been wonderful to see Thelma interact with Rosie like this, it just goes to show what a powerful thing the mind can be.
“Thanks to FaceTime they have been able to continue to keep in touch with each other and I can’t wait to welcome Rosie, as well as all our residents’ relatives, back to Brambles permanently.”