Psalm 23 bracelets for care homes
Updated: Jul 2
Here's an ingenious gift to offer residents in your local care home - a bracelet with beads relating to parts of the popular Psalm 23, 'The Lord is my shepherd.'
Amanda Gafford from Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, is a member of the Class of February 2020 at Cliff College, Derbyshire, who were taking the week-long certificate course in Ministry among Older People earlier this year. She has been busy making Psalm 23 bracelets over the past few weeks. Wooden beads are part of a gift pack enclosing instructions as to how to make the bracelet and think about the words of the psalm. Colours refer to different sections, such as green for 'He makes me lie down in green pastures' and so on.
'I have just delivered the first proper set of packs to one of the local care homes,' Amanda told us. 'In the present circumstances, when we cannot visit care homes, I was looking for an idea which would help carers to engage with residents in a simple way which would give some spiritual support.
'The idea for a bracelet made up of beads representing Psalm 23 is not original, but I wanted to produce one which was simple and easy to make up so could be given as a craft kit. The beads needed to be an appropriate size for older people with less nimble fingers but not too chunky!'
'I finally found a box of mixed beads the right size on Amazon – aimed at children but with an encouraging review from someone who had used them to make up "fiddle bracelets" for people living with dementia.'
Amanda has made up packs of a little bag with a set of beads and a length of thread, a booklet encouraging someone to colour in the picture on the front cover and make up the bead bracelet, ‘to keep and remind you of the words as you wear it, or just hold it'. There's an instruction leaflet as well.
'The beads shown in the leaflet are actual size,' she explains. 'The colours can always be varied, while keeping to something appropriate, to fit the beads available, but white (sheep), green (pastures), blue (water) and black (death) are most necessary! I am also sending small holding crosses which come with a card of the Lord's Prayer.'
A tactile gift, the bracelets can be used rather like a rosary to pray through the lines of the psalm and to allow the meaning to sink in deeply, meditatively.