Give someone you love a MNEME Hug – The teddy bear is a very traditional and timeless toy that was first produced in the early 1900s. It is often given as a keepsake, not only to young children, friends and companions as a memorable gift but also proving just as popular as an established memento to the elderly too.
The Digital Line(TDL) in collaboration with Lacorine Alpaca Teddies have introduced the lovable MNEME Memory Bear. Each teddy is lovingly handmade from start to finish by talented Peruvian artisans, creating the softest, cuddliest teddy bears made from ethically sourced alpaca fur.
The alpaca fur teddy bears are EN71 toys safety directive certified and are purely natural colours: no dying, no bleaching. The Alpaca fur is also lanolin-free, so their teddies are hypoallergenic.
Being leaders in research and innovation The Digital Line (TDL) recognised that contact with teddy bears improve psychological well-being. Cuddling teddy bears evokes a sense of peace, security and comfort. It is human nature to crave these feelings from childhood to adult life and particularly for those living alone in the care home sector.
Children’s interaction with toys is similar to that of an elderly person, particularly those suffering from dementia. A teddy can provide comfort and companionship, and a friend to talk to. Children like to give their bears a name and, in their minds, creating a whole persona for them. This gives the teddy a depth of character and radiates love and compassion allowing a child imagination to develop when playing and caring for one. This type of play helps to stimulate and develop their imagination.
Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Research shows there are more than 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia. One in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia, and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80. This figure is increasing because people are living longer. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will be more than 1 million.
Although there is no cure for dementia at the moment, an early diagnosis means its progress can be slowed down in some cases, so the person may be able to maintain their mental function for longer. It is suggested that the following can help:
Connect with the person behind dementia. To do this it is important to find out more about the person’s history so you have something to talk about; it will help you understand them better.
Be sure to reminisce. Short-term memory is often a classic symptom of dementia. However, that doesn’t mean long-term memory is completely forgotten. This is where The Digital Line (TDL) soon realised fond memories of a childhood teddy can bring joy to your loved one. The introduction of this ‘go-to’ toy offers a lovely sense of warmth, protection and comfort.
The Digital Line (TDL) has been monitoring the Mneme Memory Bear with residents at The Norwood green Care home in Southall. Manager Salvadore Firtascu said “Mneme has been lovingly received and an instant bond has been quickly established between the resident and Mneme. It is a joy to see the wave of happiness on their faces.”
Alpaca fur is a completely natural fibre, which is incredibly soft and silky to touch. As well as cuddling Mneme to stroke and pet the teddy releases feel-good hormones, boosting your mood as well as a positive therapeutic effect of reducing your heart rate giving a sense of calm, relaxation as well as reducing stress. Over time, this can have significant benefits for physical and mental health.
If you suffer from insomnia, cuddling up with a teddy bear may even help to calm you down for a restful sleep too.
The Digital Line (TDL) chose to collaborate with Lacorine as they source their fur from alpacas who have died naturally during the harsh Peruvian winters. Unfortunately, many young crias are overcome by the conditions and pass away. For the farmers, this often means a loss in revenue as their herd is now smaller. By buying this fur from the farmers, Lacorine can supplement their lost income and put this unfortunate passing to good use.
The teddies are then handmade by Peruvian artisans who live in remote villages whose skills have been passed down through the generations!
Apparently, the program is currently in its first phase of deployment and phase two will see unique sensors and heart simulators included in the teddies to further increase the feeling of engagement. We look forward to seeing this initiative progress.