My mother-in-law, Esther, celebrated her 97th birthday last week. At her party, Esther was surrounded by her loving family, honoring another birthday milestone. She is fortunate to still live at home, cared for by family members who help ground her when she struggles with memory loss.
Sunday afternoon’s SPARK! program for individuals with memory loss and their care partners at the Woodson Art Museum, September 21, 1-2:30 pm, fittingly follows Saturday’s nationwide walk to raise awareness for Alzheimer's care, support, and research. I continually witness sensory-rich, interactive SPARK! programs at the Woodson break through and ease the isolation and depression that those with dementia often experience. SPARK! participants gather to view artwork and engage in related multisensory activities that incorporate movement, music, scent, and tactile objects. During a recent visit, one participant rose from his wheelchair to dance with me, displaying deft footwork! Subsequent group discussions and hands-on art making often evoke reminiscing, laughter, and feelings of belonging.
It’s 7 am on January 27, and I’m off to Superior, Wisconsin, to attend a conference, “Healthy Minds and Healthy Bodies throughout the Second Half of Life.” I’ve rented an SUV with all-wheel drive and feel confident that I’ll arrive in one piece. I made it as far as Colby... Read More