BiMoo tablecloths: a hobby of choice for the elderly
Think BiMoo multilingual educational tablecloths are only designed for children? Think again! Seniors – especially those with Alzheimer's – love them. Here’s what Michelle Lisa Garvie, recreational consultant for over 10 years now, and companion to two people suffering from this disease, has found.
First of all, what does your job as a recreational consultant and companion consist of?
I help children keep their parents in their homes for as long as possible. In more concrete terms, depending on the elderly person’s degree of autonomy, I help them in their daily activities. This involves dressing, washing, eating, getting around, taking their medication, and more.
I follow their routine. If my client gets up at 11 a.m., that's fine. If another is tired in the afternoon and wants to take a nap, there’s no problem. Each person has their own reality and rhythm.
Of course, my job is also to stimulate them both physically and intellectually. Though Alzheimer's disease slowly attacks the memory, the right stimulation helps slow the process down.
What kind of activities do you do with your clients?
The disease affects each person differently, so symptoms vary from one person to another. It also depends on the person’s personality and areas of interest.
One of the ladies I assist enjoys reading, walking, bowling and dancing. She is very active. My other client, on the other hand, loves colouring. If I didn't suggest other activities, I think she would colour all day long. She takes great care of the therapy doll she brings with her everywhere. Yes, even the doll must wash her hands with Purell before going grocery shopping!
How did BiMoo tablecloths become part of your daily life?
One day, I was watching Salut Bonjour on TV. Julie Blais, President of BiMoo, was being interviewed by Gino Chouinard and presented her wonderful tablecloths. I fell in love with the Mandala tablecloth; I was sure my client would love colouring it.
But just one tablecloth was not enough. And I thought the others were too “young” for my clients. After all, just because they’re losing their memory, it doesn't mean they revert to childhood. So I contacted Julie and offered to design tablecloths that would appeal to an older clientele. Without hesitation, she created the Countryside Landscape tablecloth, which is sure to delight seniors, especially those who lived in the countryside earlier in life, or for their whole lives.
My clients love BiMoo tablecloths! After colouring all the designs on the Christmas tablecloth, my bookworm client began reading everything written on the tablecloth... even the Spanish words, and she doesn’t know the language!
Families are often amazed by the accomplishments of their mothers and grandmothers. This shows that despite the illness, they are still able to develop, even if they sometimes need help and motivation.
Whether you are looking for a gift for an elderly person who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease or not, BiMoo colouring tablecloths will keep them occupied for many hours and years. By using washable markers, the artists can wash their tablecloth and start over day after day.
Here is the testimony of Sonia Morin, President and CEO of Les Quartiers A Inc. - Maison Marie Fitzbach, retirement home
"We loved the product! It combines relaxation, maintaining dexterity, and socialization. My worker greatly enjoyed working with your product. She even suggests adding drawings of familiar objects (tree, sun, house, etc.) and writing the name of the colour under or near the items. She could ask the senior to read the colour out, find the corresponding marker, and colour in the object. This would help work their memory! The size of the drawings must be large enough (like the Mandala tablecloth, which has drawings of 5-7-10 cm), to make it easier for those with visual deficits and for their dexterity, which is less fine. It’s far better than drawing on 8.5 x 11 sheets: users can colour outside the lines without damaging the table."
Wonderful, isn't it?