Come along to do some hands-on community service by helping us with our next project, and find out more about Altrusa and meet our members.
We will be creating Reminiscence Books for dementia patients in care homes. This will involve pasting appropriate pictures collected from magazines etc, laminating the pages and binding them into books. The Club will provide all craft items and information leaflets required on the night.
This is a great opportunity to contribute and find out more about what we do, and the exciting events we have coming up that we'd love you to get involved in with us. We undertake a variety of service, literacy and fundraising projects each year.
The goal of reminiscence therapy is to help seniors with dementia feel valued, contented, and peaceful. It can't reverse or stop the progression of dementia, but the stress reduction and positive feelings can improve their mood, reduce agitation, and minimize challenging behaviours like wandering.
How Reminiscence Books Affect Dementia - (paraphrased)
We love to reminisce. Reminiscing can trigger a variety of emotions that may lead to other memories, and for people in the mid to late stages of dementia, this may be weakened or lost due to the disease’s effect on memory and the ability to verbally express thoughts. To bridge this gap, create non-verbal communication tools using images of commonplace images and ideas.
Reminiscence books are non-verbal, so that the story in an image, or sequence of images, is left open for personal interpretation. When there are no restrictions imposed by text and title, then the possibilities of interpretation or recollection of an associated past can be experienced. It’s similar to the experience of viewing a work of art, for instance. We may have a different interpretation from that of our companions or even the artist’s intent.
Even if a person in care is not able to communicate verbally, there is the opportunity to acknowledge interaction through paralinguistics, like a sigh or smile, or touching a page. Caregivers are then able to reinforce this non-verbal interaction with a tap or nod etc. - Judy Parkinson, author
More about Altrusa:
We believe that everyone is able to make a positive difference to the world around them. We can each volunteer our time, or donate our money, towards worthy causes. Our individual efforts may be small, but combined they matter.
We can achieve even more when we bring people together. For over 100 years Altrusa clubs have gathered members from varying occupations and lifestyles, all sharing an interest in community service.
We enjoy the friendship, fun and satisfaction that comes from working together for the benefit of others. Each club develops a programme that is tailored to local needs, undertaking a variety of hands-on service and fundraising projects each year. One of our shared goals as an organization is to improve literacy, which we believe is the key to opportunity.
Through Altrusa activities we develop our leadership skills in a supportive environment. We welcome new ideas and aim to provide enough flexibility so that our members can give their time in a way that works for them.