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Painting life stories on flower pots

For one Club MemorABLE member, it was reminiscent of art classes in primary school. For another, it was a homage to his days in university.

“(I) enjoyed the rhythmic movement of making patterns, a reminder of doing the same in my art lesson in primary school,” muses Catherine, a member of Club MemorABLE (CM), a social club where members come together to co-create and enjoy themed therapeutic activities. In this particular activity, CM members were encouraged to unleash their creativity by painting on flower pots.

For Catherine, the activity was a family affair, including her niece, Angie. It provided the perfect opportunity for weekend bonding and a break from the hubbub of the week. Angie shares that prior to any activity with her aunt Catherine, preparation is very important so that Catherine has a regular routine to look forward to. This is important for persons living with dementia (PWD).

A former educator, Catherine enjoys reading and has a deep interest in all things related to health and well-being, including attending medical seminars. Since her diagnosis, she has not been able to venture out as much, especially in the midst of the pandemic. To engage Catherine meaningfully, her family has had to explore beyond the usual services provided for PWD, thus leading to CM.

Although Catherine expressed little confidence in painting the pots, after some encouragement, she let her hair loose and allowed the child in her to paint freely. She reflects, “With art, I seem to have taken the liberty of taking my mind off the reality of facing the sombreness of life. This was a good reminder that I must make hay while the sun shines to enjoy myself through creating art.”

While Catherine allowed her creativity to run free in the pots painting, another CM member employed a different approach. Sky, a former architect by training, had purposefully designed his flower pots with inspiration from the song by Gazebo, ‘I like Chopin’, and in memory of his days in university.

Other than joining AHL’s Therapy Through Work for Young Onset and Early Stage Dementia (TTW YES) programme, Sky joined CM to diversify his range of engagements while he stays home this pandemic. He has developed an analytical acumen and prefers functional designs due to his past profession. One of his painted pots depicts a building façade with entrances into areas clearly defined for work, residential and parking. This design style was something he learnt in school and is still deeply inspired by till this day. (See below, left for Sky's pot design)

The temporary suspension of TTW YES sessions has not stopped Sky from enjoying other engagements with AHL. He is eager to join the various interactive and hands-on CM sessions as these motivate him in his daily activities. Immensely curious by nature, he challenges himself to learn something new everyday, whether skills picked up in CM, or knowledge gained through daily reading of the papers.

Much like buildings, Sky believes that life and exuberance should be breathed into every design, just as he had with his pots. He observes that through this activity, “these colourfully decorated floral pots have been transformed, transmuted and are given to ‘Have a Life, Have a Spirit, Have a Name’”.

For more information on CM, please visit: http://www.apexharmony.org.sg/beyond-the-lodge/club-memorable Alternatively, you may contact the CM team at 9730 6347.

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