The University's Centre of Applied Research in Inclusive Arts and Design (CARIAD) recently held a hands-on crafts and sewing workshop for businessmen to learn more about dementia.
Project leader Cathy Treadaway, Professor of Creative Practice at the University, has seen the benefits creating Hand i Pockets – stitched sensory textile pockets, can have for those dealing with dementia in terms of providing comfort for people in the later stages of the disease.
Hand i Pockets funshops are an initiative associated with the Ludic Artefacts Using Gesture & Haptics (LAUGH) research project, which supports people with late stage dementia through innovative, handmade and playful creations that amuse, comfort, occupy, engage, bring joy and promote 'in the moment' living.
CARIAD teamed up with Alzheimer's Society, Age Cymru, Inspiration Wealth Management and Tŷ Hapus, the unique Barry-based respite charity offering help, advice and support for people with early onset Alzheimer's. The event was aimed at business people, encouraging them to move away from the boardroom and join together to get creative with fabric and learn about dementia.
Media Consultant John Williams took part in the event, and said: "It must be such an isolating experience to suffer the awful symptoms of Alzheimer's so it is great to know how these therapies are being developed to bring some respite and comfort to those who are afflicted.
Professor Treadaway's research has shown that sensory textiles help calm, comfort and engage people with dementia for whom life can be limited and communication often difficult.
Hand i Pocket Funshops enable people to share stories through the making process and have been found to be useful ways of building support groups for families and carers.
For more details on Hand i Pockets and LAUGH, see www.laughproject.info