Our volunteers are wonderful. Gloria brought in some tackle that led to really good conversation with our participants on their experiences and relationships with horses, mules, and donkeys. While dementia takes away many memories, many still remain. People who have spent their lives on farms have memories that can be evoked by an object, a photo, or a story. Gloria’s inspiration reached into our participants’ past to bring some present joy.
Researchers are finding that for those with dementia, memories can be evoked by an object, a sound, or even a smell. Some nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the country now include a Memory Lane, a space filled with photos, music, and objects that help visitors remember moments from their past. In Olathe, Kansas, the Cedar Lake Village retirement community has brought a 1968 Ford pickup in the courtyard “for residents to sit in, tinker on, listen to music “and reminisce about their first vehicle,” said Joanna Randall, the facility’s executive director. In England, Grove Care Ltd. has “Memory Lane” on the grounds of its dementia-care facilities, featuring a 1950s-themed traditional pub, post office and grocery store (CBS News, 19 Nov. 2015).
Thanks to Gloria and Norma for making our Among Friends experiences stimulating and fun.