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Dolly for Dementia



If you didn't already know, families living with a loved one with dementia is a subject very close to my heart.  Despite officially passing from 'Covid-19', my Nanny lived with dementia for many years prior and so did we.

There is evidence to suggest that a dolly can help a person navigating dementia focus. A little friend to talk to, if you will.  In some, it can reignite memories and behaviours of having children and bring great comfort.  A dolly also provides an opportunity to care for something and to 'twiddle'.

At the most common age to be living with dementia, most of these amazing people have experienced having children and grandchildren, and, if lucky, great grandchildren too.

Keeping hands busy is a great brain booster. Tell Dolly all your secrets too .. goodness knows, she knows a few of mine! - Don't worry, she has promised not to tell anyone.

Anyway, I was approached by a Dolly Pattern monthly subscriber, Rose, who told me that she was creating Dollys to gift to residents of care homes that were living with dementia. Well ... I could not help myself in supporting her endeavours.

I am pleased to say, I have donated supplies to Rose to be able to make at least 10 Dollys to donate to dementia residents in care homes.

Lord knows, care homes have had a bloody awful time during the pandemic .. and of course, it struck a chord with me and my family.

I have just had a brief conversation with GG (Grandad's affectionate nick name, Betty's Husband) that we have sent fabrics, stuffing, hair and notions to be made into Dollys for dementia residents and he was SO touched.

Today, I have donated and sent Rose:

  • 2 x 450g bags of EN71 certified stuffing
  • 3m brown dolly skin cotton poplin
  • 2m ish of tan dolly skin cotton poplin
  • 2-3m of pink dolly skin cotton poplin
  • 4 gold hair bundles
  • 2 red hair bundles
  • 2 black hair bundles
  • 2 brown hair bundles
  • 5m blue knicker lace
  • 10 pink gingham bows for the knickers
  • 2 skeins of pink embroidery thread for the mouths
  • 22 eyes and washers (11 sets)
  • 1/2 m of floral poplin for the knickers.

So, this year ... instead of doing a 'Dolly Pattern Sewists' Secret Santa, I would ask that instead, you make a Dolly for Dementia, or, if you don't fancy that, please make a donation of whatever you would normally spend on our Secret Santa to Dementia UK in Betty Lawrence's name, my Nanny, my angel.

If you would like to support Rose in making or donating finished Dollys to care homes, please email me and I'll put you in touch with Rose.  Otherwise, more details can be found on how to get involved in our Facebook group 'Dolly Pattern Sewists' (just do a Facebook search and get involved).

 For Nanny.  I love you always.


P.s. Funny story to this photo ... Greyson (baby) is my Nephew and this was his christening .. Nanny was not phased by the fact he was miserable, but was overjoyed at having a wee babe in her arms. I wish I had been able to give her that joy a million times over. When I was 2, I said to my parents (of my great grandma) .. hang on, I've got a nanny - now I've got 'More' Nannys? Therefore, My Nanny is known as 'Morenanny' and so shall all great grandmothers in our family forever more.  I love it, my heart is bursting.

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