Today I visited a dementia unit. The residents were in a “locked” area and even the doors to their bedroooms were locked so that they would stay in the social areas during the day. I think they have a problems with people wandering into the wrong room and taking items that don’t belong to them.
There were 7 women waiting in this lovely little parlor with a fireplace. They were all very nicely dressed and so pleasant and happy. We had a wonderful time together for an hour.
While I was setting up, I gave them a little “job” like being the teacher’s pet in a classroom. I knew that all of the stuffed animals that I brought were in perfect condition but I just said, “Would you ladies like to help me by looking these stuffed animals over to make sure that they don’t have any stains on them? After you check them over, will you please put them on the table?
One lady held the giant green frog close to her chest. “I just wish I could take this to bed with me and hold it close.”
“I love this clown doll. Her face is so cute. I can just picture her making people laugh in the circus by doing tricks.”
“Oh, I love this bear. Can I keep him?”
“You know life can be hard and complicated. Problems come up with friends and families. Sometimes you need someone or something to give you comfort, like these stuffed animals. I am an immigrant. I came here from Europe when I was 12 years old. Before that we lived in a barn. So, I didn’t have playmates. I had the chickens and farm animals. There was a war going on in Czechoslovakia. My mother made the best apple streudel.”
I wish that I could take pictures of the people who are the recipients of the stuffed animals but I don’t want to “exploit” them in any way. I just want everyone to know that has donated them that they bring so much life and happiness to a roomful of people who just love receiving them! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!