I’ve been thinking for awhile now, on how to write this particular story, because it is so important. Kristen Gerencher wrote a wonderful piece in the Wall Street Journal recently that really says it all. Please take a moment and read the article “Don’t Write Off Dementia Patients“.
Even when memory fails and abilities diminish, friends and relatives can find activities that engage the afflicted person. They can adapt favorite hobbies from the past or try new ones such as listening to or playing music, doing art projects or going fishing together. The key is to keep trying to include the person in activities even if they’re relatively simple or mundane, aging experts say.
“People get afraid and think ‘I don’t know what I’m going to say or do,'” says Beth Kallmyer, senior director of constituent services for the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago.People with dementia may not react the way they did before they got sick, but they still need company and stimulation, she says.
“You might see their eyes light up,” Ms. Kallmyer says. “They may be able to smile, make a joke, engage you in a way that surprises you.”
It’s a very quick article that is to the point and worth the read.
One of our goals in our Welcome Home communities, is to keep families involved. We are a family run company and that feeling of family rolls throughout the company still today. Whether you have been by to see mom or dad lately, or you haven’t been in awhile, we’d like to see more of you! Families, in so many ways, have the ability to help us, help their mom and/or dad. In turn, this helps the residents who call our communities home, have a great experience. Our Community Life Coordinators would love to hear the different activities that your parents used to participate in or still do to this day. If your parents are interested, there is a great chance that other residents would be interested too! My recent blog post about the Resident Choir at Potter Ridge, is a great example. Whether it is garden club, or learning how to paint for the first time, we’d love to hear about it.
One other item that I need to mention is that our Community Life Coordinators are always looking for volunteers to help their programs be even more successful. If you’d like to volunteer, simply get in touch with the community you’d like to volunteer in and they’ll walk you through the simple process.