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 the Truly Inspired 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.
The following was originally posted on the Inspired Memory Care, Inc. blog by co-owners, Kelly Gilligan and Nettie Harper, in their article on "Supportive Gifting Opportunities that Last Beyond the Holidays for Care-Partners and Persons Living with Dementia".
The holidays present a unique time for reaching out to family and friends in a thoughtful and meaningful way. If you have a family member or friend partnering with a loved one living with dementia, supportive gifting can bring success and stress-relief well into the New Year.
Last month, a few clients and aides of our Truly Inspired 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.
Meet Mr. Oka, an exceptional Truly Inspired Client, who has been living with dementia for over 5 years. The relationship he has with his caregiver, Ansan, is truly special. She is his friend, someone he spends time with, learns with and, in this particular case, teaches chess.
Ansan has never played chess before meeting Mr. Oka. Being able to learn something new and switch roles with her client is something that she has truly enjoyed. "It feels [good] to learn something new," says Ansan. Watching them play chess is a remarkable experience. "Immediately Mr. Oka took on the role of being a teacher," says Truly Inspired Program Manager, Jodie. "This was really a role reversal in caregiving."