The Art of Spoken Word & Dementia

Poetry sometimes for many of us who are not English Literature majors or come from a non-English speaking background, may sound like something that is really difficult and requires a high level of linguistic skill and perfection. However, poetry is found to be cathartic for many people with dementia and high therapeutic. So how do we get over that wall of stigma? For those who may wish to try an alternative, here is the Spoken Word.

This video above is an example of spoken word or some may call it spoken word poetry. The video above is performed by IN-Q, a professional spoken word artist. Spoken word unlike traditional poetry that is meant for paper is a contemporary high-energy performance of the heart, mind and soul. It embraces poetry, storytelling, theatre, and folk, jazz, hip hop and even R&B. It can be a performance by anyone of any age. Topics are mostly issues close to the heart and the home.

Bring spoken word to your home today and bring out the inner a spoken word artist in you. Here’s a video on how to write and perform Spoken Word by Khalil Smith.

Step 1: Brain Storming

Pick a topic that is personal and familiar. Think of words associated with the topic.

Step 2: Construction

Connect the words and carry out a process of association to enable word form and structure.

Step 3: Finalisation Phase

Writing and thinking of the tone and the beat.

Step 4: Performance

Memorise if possible, and add physical movements and ways to engage the audience.


 

For more spoken word performances please visit: http://blog.ted.com/10-spoken-word-performances-folded-like-lyrical-origami/. I’ll leave you with a spoken word performance by Raymond Antrobus Ode to his father’s dementia.

 

 

 

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For The Busy Caregiver: Homemade Frozen Yogurt in 5 Minutes 

Somedays when you come home after a long day at work, you get pretty sick of buying commercial ice cream or frozen yogurt, full of cane sugar and ingredients that sound like a chemistry test. Here’s a video on making frozen yogurt with only 4 ingredients, vegan options available! You can do it alone or you can get your loved ones to join in, be it buying the fruits, picking the flavours, or just helping to put it together or eating it. Be careful when working with the food processor/blender.

Anyway tried this at home and loved it! Definitely a delicious and yummy project for you and your family. Have fun!

 

You can go to Gemma Stafford website for more recipes

Hand muffs for dementia

These remind me of the tactile blankets that I use to see at work, but smaller, cuter and cosier! Coming in a myriad of colours, this is reblogged from the St Joseph’s Health Care site – Therapeutic Hand Muffs


 

hand muff knittwear

hand muff

What is a Therapeutic Hand Muff?

It’s a basic knitted muff using different yarn textures and colours. Items, such as beads, buttons and ribbons, are then attached (inside and outside) to provide even more tactile stimulation. People with dementia often have restless hands and can be soothed by having something to keep their hands occupied. The muff provides a source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation at the same time as keeping hands snug and warm.

Materials
Soft chunky or super chunky yarns and novelty yarns such as eyelash or faux fur yarns. Needles: 8mm circular (easiest) or 6.5mm straight needles.

The muff is knit in one long tube which is double the length of the final size. Once you are finished, you will push the interior up inside and sew the two ends together. If using straight needles you will knit a rectangle and sew up the sides first.

Instructions:
Cast on 40 stitches. The first half will be the inside of the muff– chenille or other soft/cozy yarns are best. Work rounds in knit stitch for 11 inches. If using straight needles, knit stocking stitch (knit a row, purl a row) for 11 inches. Continue knitting, but begin swapping out different yarns with interesting colours and textures, such as eyelash, mohair, and novelty yarns. Continue until the length measures about 23 inches and cast off.

If using straight needles: lightly iron the long strip, then neatly join the sides together using edge to edge stitch (with the knit side facing out). At this point you should have a tube.

hand muff full view

Now it’s time to sew on the tactile items. Suggestions include: buttons, beads (in strings or separately), ribbons, small wooden toys or shapes, patches of leather, knitted/crocheted pockets and flowers, zippers, loops, pompoms, etc. Avoid using delicate items such as feathers, items with sharp edges or points, heavy or large items or anything that could tear or break and cause harm. It’s best if items are washable.

hand muff showing how to sew it

It is very important to securely attach the items. Use fishing line, leather string or embroidery thread. Attach each item to a large button on the back of the work as an anchor. The muff will be doubled up so these anchor buttons won’t be visible on the end product.

Attach 2 or 3 items inside the muff (things to grab on to such as large wooden beads, pompoms, etc.) and a few things on the outside. When you have completed attaching items, push the inside half up inside the muff body and sew the two ends together using a neat edge to edge stitch.

hand muffs

Related:

What started as a search for a worthwhile project for a knitting group at St. Joseph’s to pursue in their leisure time, is resulting in creations that soothe and calm people with dementia.


 

Please check out their webpage for more information.

Source: Hand muffs for dementia | St. Joseph’s Health Care London