Formed as a coalition of “community partners,” Momentia’s purpose is to empower people with memory loss and their care partners to remain connected and active in the community. Central to the movement’s philosophy is its positive perspective on dementia and a collective determination “to transform what it means to live with dementia in the community—thus changing the story from one of despair to one of hope.”
There are two common operational practices that make it difficult for organizations to visualize a pathway to unlocking doors (and many other activities as well): all-or-none thinking and surplus safety. I explore each of these in the conclusion to my series “Hidden Restraints.”
When you think of your life and the record you want to leave behind, do your accumulated possessions, job titles and accomplishments really do you justice? The process of aging can teach us the value of the intangibles in a life story, including the importance of community and the worth of a given moment.
Leading the nation in the creation and proliferation of dementia-friendly communities is quite a responsibility to bear, but the Land of 10,000 Lakes has made it look somewhat easy with the implementation of more than 43 such communities in the span of just four years.
Even without knowing all of the reasoning behind Gene Wilder’s decision to keep his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease a secret, one can infer from his family’s statement that stigma was a big factor.
On a sunny August morning in Seattle, a group of kids took a few hours out of day camp to meet with older adults for a day of music and conversation. The event was designed by people living with memory loss to show the kids that despite cognitive difficulties, they have different things to offer, can get out and have fun, pursue new hobbies, and enjoy time with friends and family.
Walking (indoors and outdoors) is something we all do freely, every day, without even thinking about it. Moving away from “lock-down” memory care for people living with dementia not only helps alleviate distress, but also affirms and enables everyone’s basic human right to be able to move freely.
Recently, I posted a provocative argument for considering locked doors as physical restraints. I have received many comments about the post; and as promised, I am following up with a second installment (of three), in which I will give some guidelines for those who wish to take up the challenge.
The problem with “restraints” in long-term care is that in most cases the things we do to increase physical safety help us to feel better, but actually decrease the sense of security felt by the person. So it is with locked doors in memory care homes.
New research validates what we already know — the use of antipsychotic medications to reduce behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) is not very effective and what we should be doing instead is focusing on meeting the unmet needs of the person living with dementia through person centered approaches.
The Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod is a non-profit organization designed to be age- and dementia-friendly, which means that the programs are organized in a way that enables individuals of all ages and disease states to participate in the program.
We know what the experience of Alzheimer’s looks like from the outside and its correlation with age is undeniable. We do not know the exact culprit, or combination of culprits, of these experiences; therefore, classing it as a disease to be eradicated is to put the proverbial cart before the horse.