Memory Boxes

Following the ‘Cumulative Caring Crises’ that I posted about recently (blog post here) we have now accepted a respite care bed for my dad at the lovely residential home near me. My sister travelled over from France especially to bring dad up to Nottingham following his hospital appointment to check the progress of his bladder cancer. We are not mentioning the ‘L’ (Long-Term) word – just giving him time to settle and benefit from the attention, help and kindness of the staff.

It is hard and sad to see him alternating between being unsure and asking about going home, and being settled and enjoying a meal out with us and a walk by the canal. The home is busy and colourful – something that dad is not used to but that results from their caring, hands-on approach. My sister described it as ‘like Tracy Beaker’s orphanage – all bright colours and busyness’!

I feel too emotional to report in depth, but wanted to share the image below. The home has ‘Memory Boxes’ outside each bedroom where residents can display photos and objects that remind them of people that are important to them, or show a little about their tastes, hobbies and life. It is wonderful to walk along the corridor of bedrooms past model sports cars, or Forest shirts and football paraphernalia, or faded sepia photos of childhood days with mum or dad.

So I got out my felt-tips and produced a ‘Best Dad’ image with a steam train and mounted a photo of dad with his three daughters below. I hope it helps him find his room and remember that we love him, although I think he will respond more to the idea of steam and a good chug-chug sound!


2 thoughts on “Memory Boxes

  1. Dear Anne
    What a lovely picture for your Dad’s room! It sounds a wonderful caring place and I hope that your Dad loves it and begins to feel at home. I am so delighted to know what is happening and to see the care and love that all three of you give your Dad- he is a very lucky person but I expect that you feel you are very lucky to have him as a Dad.
    Next week we go to Hannah’s wedding- she is the first of our grandchildren. I am very touched but also a little nervous because Hannah and her fiancĂ© have asked me to read a passage from Winnie the Pooh which is just lovely and reminds me of my childhood and when the boys were little, so many memories come flooding back. Hannah says that she remembers me reading to her and to Rachel, her sister, and how I always used different voices so I have been practising my “Pooh” voice. Look after yourself.


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