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.
In a sea of self-help books and self-promoting how-to’s, The Penelope Project: An Arts-Based Odyssey to Change Elder Care is a comprehensive guide, showing us how to work within systems and change them for the better from the inside.
Every few weeks there seems to be a new story about how attitudes towards aging affect the way older minds and bodies function. The latest is irresistibly titled: “Karma bites back: Hating on the elderly may put you at risk of Alzheimer’s.”
Books on dementia are usually addressed not to friends but to family caregivers or professionals. I approached this book with excitement because we rarely see the words “dementia,” “friendship” and “communities” together.