For family and caregivers of a memory-impaired individual, one of the most frustrating things to experience is your loved one’s repetitive questions. While not all who are living with dementia exhibit this symptom, when it is present it can be quite frustrating for those in their company. However, with a little understanding, patience, and a bit of creativity, there is much that can be done to help support your loved one and guide them towards better communication.
Rita and Jodie meet each week as part of True Care’s Memory Care program. They often do creative writing activities which keep Rita’s brain active and as healthy as possible despite her memory impairment. One particular afternoon, during one of their sessions together, Jodie and Rita starting working on a book. They didn’t know where this activity would lead them; all they knew was that it was fun and they enjoyed creating something together.
As part of the Care Connection Community Class in conjunction with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), True Care was pleased to facilitate A Matisse Inspired Workshop. This workshop uses the fine art of Henri Matisse's "Cut-Outs" series as inspiration for a technique we like to call "Painting with Scissors." It was a wonderfully engaging class where those in attendance were clients of True Memory Care program as well as invited community guests.
If you care for or know someone living with memory impairment, be it Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, you know that it is a condition that is hard to understand. Although we may never fully comprehend what it truly feels like for the individual, there are many ways to learn compassion and how to care for the memory affected loved one in your life. This is a task that the Alzheimer's Foundation of America have taken on through their Care Connection Sunset Series, a program which involves briefly immersing its participants in a virtual reality world where you experience symptoms like blurred vision, hallucinations, and disorientation.
Nutrition, while important for every stage of life, can pose certain hurdles as we age. Physical changes in the body and possible health issues make obtaining the recommended daily nutrients a bit more complicated. Add to this a diagnosis of dementia and you may be required to come up with some creative approaches during mealtimes.
Every stage of dementia presents its own set of challenges. Familiarizing yourself with what is common during each stage and getting to know your loved one’s personal preferences can go a long way in supporting their health in the best way possible.
Last month, a few clients and aides of our True Memory Care program enjoyed a delightful day at Robert Wagner Park in lower Manhattan. The program's very first meetup, Art in the Park, was a great success. The participants and caregivers supported each other and painted beautiful landscapes with facilitator, Jodie Berman, Director of Programs and Community Engagement for True Care. They learned how to "paint what you see" as they overlooked a breathtaking view of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty. They also learned a paint technique called a "wash", where a layer of color is applied using diluted watercolor paint.