It isn’t every day that a trained circus performer visits a senior living community. And yet, that’s exactly what Evan Baird did recently when he visited Harvester Place Memory Care in Burr Ridge, Illinois. Evan is a recent college graduate who is waiting in the wings for the pandemic to lift so that he can launch his circus career. And, while he’s waiting, he’s giving back by sharing his unique talents and skills with some folks who remember the good old days of the circus and will appreciate his performance all the more. And they did!
The Burr Ridge Patch recently covered this amazing story of Evan’s visit. Even was invited by the Harvester Place leadership team, who got word of his need to stay active and in shape until local circus operations opened for hiring again. Evan pulled out all the stops, with performances on jump stilts, tumbling and other tricks for the thrilled audience.
As it turns out, Evan has a deeper personal motivation for his visit. His mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease when he was 12 years old. He shared with The Patch, how he’s calibrated his performance for this very special audience. “Dementia can have an impact on depth perception,” He said in a news release prior to his performance. “I am planning tricks that will be energizing and exciting, but with patterns that keep them from being visually confusing.” It made all the difference to residents who thoroughly enjoyed Evan’s performance.
Experiences like these are so important to individuals living with dementia. The enjoyment of watching performances like Evan’s keep residents engaged and connected to what’s happening around them. It also can stimulate old memories of their own experiences and performances they attended when they were young.
Kudos to Harvester Place Memory Care for inviting Evan to share his talents! And our best wishes go with Evan as he continues to prepare for his career as a performer.
[The image above is of Evan jumping over a Harvester Place staff member. Photo courtesy of The Patch]