Old stuff. Our closets, attics and basements are full of it.
Broken toys, fading photo albums, dog-eared school report cards, ice hockey pennants, items that wouldn’t even raise a dollar at a garage sale.
Yet they represent precious memories, key moments in time that bridge the generations and link grandparents, parents and grandchildren together.
What is Old Stuff Day?
For a day dedicated to memories of times past, Old Stuff Day doesn’t have much of a provenance. But perhaps that’s the point. Old Stuff Day is not designed to sell anything. It’s to remind us to take time to look, touch, feel – and remember.
With the rise of digital media to store memories, and increasing demands on storage space in our homes, it’s tempting to declutter and throw out old stuff into the trash. Instead, why not let it see the light of day again, and use the occasion to rediscover more about your family and your past. With Canada’s proud history of immigration, older family heirlooms and objects may reveal connections with foreign homelands and traditions long forgotten.
We love old stuff
At The Manor Village, we love old stuff. It is so beneficial to Our Hearts Memory Care Residents who are in the middle and later stages of memory impairment linked to dementia or Alzheimer’s. A physical object displayed in our memory boxes can recall memories still crystal clear and sharp in their minds, where more recent memories are fading fast. Reading old documents, touching family heirlooms, listening to favourite LP records on an old turntable, all can bring back happy times at family events long since past.
Old photographs in albums are a particular source of enjoyment, and a source of great fascination for relatives too. The younger generation loves laughing at the fashions, the terrible haircuts, the ancient cars! The older generation enjoys recalling relatives, cousins, friends and people who were special enough to be photographed at a time when you only had 24 shots on a roll of film.
As time passes, it’s all too easy to forget exactly who is who in photos – and how they relate to each other. Often the senior generation can name every single person, and we encourage families to note down who they are for future reference. If you ever want to trace your family tree, this kind of information is invaluable, and often only exists in the memories of your parents or grandparents.
Our Hearts Memory Care
Our Hearts Memory Care Residents very much enjoy talking through family albums, and relatives are often surprised that our staff takes time to sit down and flip through them with those in their care. For us, this one to one social interaction is as important as the physical needs of our Residents. It ensures our Residents are engaged with us, their memories are stimulated, and we love how sharing their history enhances our understanding and respect for those in our community.
Celebrate your own Old Stuff
So, this weekend, why not go into the basement, pack up a box of objects, and invite the whole family around to unpack it. Or take it to an elderly relative, to share the enjoyment of remembering and reliving your shared family history. All it takes to give so much pleasure is a little time – and some old stuff.
For more details of the Our Hearts Memory Care communities at The Manor Villages in Canada, click here, or call us for a personal visit to any of our Calgary and London locations.