When people think of Dementia they often think just of people becoming forgetful and for some people that might be the only symptom but for people like mum there were a whole host of symptoms. The disease went through lots of stages. It started with confused memories and losing the words for things and then she gave away all her belongings , clothes, shoes everything. She also gradually lost all her skills although she could knit a bit almost until the end
As it progressed mum developed all kinds of distressed behaviours and lost her whole sense of herself. When she was still aware of us she would cry on the phone and say she was scared of dying, she would read out leaflets on the phone word by word, tear apart her clothes, walk in a circle endlessly and make piles and piles of objects. She would eat a whole block of cheese, cut apart her jumpers. She was very frightened, restless, bored, confused and exhausted.
My dad was a really wonderful carer for her but she still suffered. The only things we found to help were music and a bit of fun and laughter . Mum loved to dance and songs.
At the end she was not speaking, gaunt and exhausted . She couldn’t dress herself or remember to eat. In the end she was bed ridden and we sat with her as she died, singing to her, stroking her hair , reading her poems . She did not know us and I could not believe this was my mum.
Some months before mum died I decided to do something to recover a part of her that was very important – her creativity. She had always made everything, wonderful baking, clothes, home furnishings, pottery and painting and she passed these skills on to us
When we were children she made toys and one of the patterns she designed was a cat. She raised lots of money for charity with the things she made. I still have one of those cats and I call it Maisie after my mum. I have updated the pattern a bit and now want to use Maisie cats to raise awareness of Dementia and raise money for nice things for people with Dementia. We will be talking to a variety of groups
On Saturday 18th July at 2pm the project will officially launch. With those attending having the opportunity to watch demonstrations on how to embroid the face (further making events will follow).
How you can help?
o Make some cats They can be made from recycled or new fabric and have plaited wool tails and embroidered faces. You can hand them back to us or sell them yourself and then give us a donation. The cats will be sold for £10
o Have a stall at a market or sell some of the cats in your shop or to your friends
o Buy some cats from us – we will be selling in the run up to christmas
o Join our face book group called Maisie Cats for Dementia – the pattern can be downloaded from the group and you can post pics of the cats you make
o Give us a free stall to sell the cats at a market you are running
Contact : Paper Village, 200 North street, BS3 1JF.
Telephone 0117 90 80 992
Email. Vic.firstname.lastname@example.org www.thepapervillage.co.uk