Two unique ways precious memories are being preserved at St Vincent's

Posted 24th March 2023

St Vincent's Aged Care Resident, Desley preparing memory books for fellow residents at St Vincent's Mitchelton

Our memories are a big part of our life, our families, and our past. However, without the proper preservation memories can slowly slip away into the unknown. 


As people age many will experience memories loss, whether through neurological disorders or simply with time passing and no connections or conversation to keep the memory fresh in mind.   

Preserving memories has an abundance of benefits to individuals and society, including 


  • Remembering Lost Loved Ones: The most common reason to preserve memories is to keep late loved ones in our minds and passing on the stories and traditions that they experienced.  

  • Continuing Culture: Traditions start with the memories of the past being shared, to continue the story and activities of our past and to cherish and preserve cultural traditionslanguages and arts.  

  • Preserving our history Every memory is a moment of the past, a snippet in time that can define our history. Through sharing these memories, we can capture and preserve the past in the eyes of each beholder.  

  • Connecting Generations: Not only will sharing memories allow for present generation see how their ancestors lived but will provide children an understanding of how you lived your life – highlighting the small changes that have occurred over the last few decades.  

  • Preventing Diseases: Memories and news can help prevent the cause of neuro degenerative diseases. By providing an opportunity for elders to reminisce about their life can help improve their long and short term memory.  


At St Vincent’s we are fortunate to have a wealth of knowledge, stories and history through our diverse workforce and residents. Each individual person has a story to tell or an opportunity to share. Our extensive community work together to celebrate and preserve the memories of our residents.  

 

Sharing a Conversation Between Generations 


A simple conversation can hold many missed memories. Fortunately, there is a way to preserve these. If you ever have to opportunity to visit St Vincent’s Care in Kangaroo Point, you may meet the lovely Ana Estrada, Living Support Manager. Ana is currently undertaking a Doctoral Degree at Queensland College of Art for which she is investigating how creative approaches can contribute critically to care practises in Aged Care. 


Having written several books based on conversations shared within our homes, Ana has captured and preserved memories that celebrate and recognise the colourful and eventful lives of older Australians.  


In 2022, Ana published I Am Here II, The Tiny Little Detailswhich features conversations between herself and St Vincent’s resident Joan Nolan, which took place during COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. 


Ana Estrada presenting her book to residents at St Vincent's Care Kangaroo Point

 


I Am Here is a periodical publication that aims to create dialogue and connectedness between aged-care residents, staff, and the rest of the community.  Ana aims to highlight the importance of sharing and listening to personal stories through her work.  


Preventing Neurological Diseases through Stories 


One of our many talented residents that resides at St Vincent’s Care Mitchelton, has taken it upon herself to create three books full of short stories, memories and articles from magazines and newspapers to be shared with other residents. Desley’s wish is for the books to be used by residents and staff, with staff reading it to residents who are no longer able to themselves. 


Desley says that creating the books came from an idea she had after attending the reading group, where she realised that residents may miss the feeling of reading a good book and wanted to find a way to bring reading back into their lives.  


“I have had a lot of interest and positivity from other residents and staff. I am told that they look forward to when it is their turn to read or look through the books. 


I put colourful pictures between the stories for the people with poor vision. Colourful pictures give the stories expression,” Desley says.  


Desley sources her inspiration for her memory books from magazines, newspapers and more!

 

While the books provide a form of entertainment and leisure for residents and staff, the benefits of producing and collating content can trigger dormant memories and reignite discussions of the past.  


Every conversation and memory have a purpose for our future and working collaboratively together we can preserve our rich history for generations to come.  

Do you have a story to share?

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