01 Apr 1st Quarter Dementia Together Highlights
Here are some staff highlights from January-March…
We are continuing our monthly meal drops and we asked several of our participant couples to volunteer to deliver meals. This has proven to be a great idea since it is giving our friends living with dementia an added sense of purpose and opportunity for socialization among memory café friends. We received a donation of 80 Blizzard Boxes from the Larimer County Office on Aging which contained non-perishable items for 5 meals. The timing was excellent as we had to postpone our original meal drop but volunteers, Terry and Cynthia Jensen, took boxes to each of the meal recipients before the March blizzard hit.
In February we interviewed some of these friends and recorded their love stories. These stories were posted on Facebook during Valentines week. Each story was profound and beautiful. The couples were moved by the experience and reminded of their love for one another. Here’s a quote of one story:
Care partner: I felt like God said “I gave him to you to take care of”
Spouse living with dementia: “and she does.”
We partnered with Poudre River Library to create Memory Kits for those living with dementia to check out for 3 weeks at a time. These kits include a book for care partners, books designed for those living with dementia, a CD with songs about animals or birds including trivia and lyrics, Dementia Together care partner tips and resources, and a Slinky. A couple of our Advisory Board members tried out a kit and found it to be very entertaining and well done. Three kits (one for each branch) will be available for check out soon.
The Advisory Board has been meeting virtually each month. The couples who serve on the board and living with dementia are eager to help us resume Dementia-Friendly business training later this spring. All four vaccinated couples went out for lunch together in March and for many of them it was their first time in a restaurant in over a year.
In January, our office received a call from an overwhelmed daughter, Eve (not her real name) whose mom has dementia and father refused any help besides her own. Eve was feeling lonely, stressed, and depressed. Andrea told her about our programs and other resources in the community. Meghan sent her the information re: Memory Cafes, Support Groups, and Meal Drops. Cyndy had a consult with her and her sibling. She joined our weekly care partner support group. She and her brother who lives out of state attended a virtual SPECAL® (Contented Dementia) introduction session. In March, we delivered three meals to Eve so she could bring a couple to her parents. We have received several emails from her since then stating, “I just wanted to let you know how much my parents enjoyed the dinner from the meal drop yesterday. They called me to thank me for bringing it over, and to tell me how delicious it was. Even my dad was a little emotional because he was so grateful for my friends who provided such a nice meal, and my mom actually ate some too. Thank you for all your support and the information that you provide-it has made a world of difference for me already…all the love and support in the group have quickly become a weekly lifeline for me! 💜 I truly appreciate all the wonderful programs and support resources Dementia Together offers, and you’ve already helped me feel better, because I don’t feel as alone in all of this as before…Your name – Dementia Together – is so fitting, since none of us have to feel that we are alone on this journey…”
That’s the update. With your help, our team is making a difference in the lives of those on the dementia journey! Thank you.