Most of us remember, at some point in our lives, swinging a club in a round of miniature golf. Navigating the many mazes and encounters with cute little houses that would swallow up your golf ball were some of the fun challenges. For others, golf was a serious passion. They would take their clubs and a few friends and play a round or two at the local course on a regular basis.
Either way, getting outside in fresh air and enjoying a relaxing game of golf, even on a putting green, can have a positive therapeutic impact on health and emotional wellbeing.
No one knows this better than the residents of Grace Point Memory Care in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Recently, the staff and a few “golf aficionado” residents took to the putting green to test their skills and enjoy a pastime several of them recall fondly.
“An activity like golf gets the blood pumping and oxygenates the body,” says Grace Point’s Life Engagement Director, Lisa Siemsen. “Not only is it fun, but the residents are better able to participate in the cognitive, creative or social activity following the physical activity,” she adds. The residents shown in the photograph above are (from left) Verona Hoffman, Toots Boyce and Kathy Ridder.
Experts would agree. Bert Hayslip, Jr., a psychologist who has studied individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, noted in a Wall Street Journal article, “There is something about that game [golf] that imprints itself on peoples’ minds.” He also noted that the things we learn at an early age tend to be the things we remember for the longest time. And this is certainly true for those struggling with dementia. Family members often report to us that, while mom may not remember what she had for lunch, she may quickly recall a conversation held decades ago with a high school friend.
Whether it’s a game of miniature golf or another activity, connecting a loved one to something he or she used to enjoy can help recapture moments of joy that otherwise might remain locked away.
At Anthem Memory Care communities we celebrate the unique lives of all of our residents, always seeking to light their paths towards old memories that can be shared again by their families, other residents and our loving staff.