She was a golfer before she became a memory care community resident. Why should she stop now?
That has always been our philosophy at our Anthem Memory Care communities. Residents, families, and staff take great joy in celebrating the amazing lives of those who live and work inside their communities. That includes sharing a genuine respect and admiration for their lifelong achievements and talents.
Ruth Lang, a golfer and resident of Grace Point Place Memory Care in Oak Lawn, Illinois recently shared some pointers with a group of visiting students from AERO Special Education Cooperative. Chatting with the students on the Grace Point putting green, her love of golf and enthusiasm quickly became contagious as Ruth gave pointers and encouragement to the young golfers.
Tapping into early memories and skills can bring shared moments of joy.
These kinds of connections are so important, especially for those living dementia. We know that, while dementia impacts the ability to recall everyday events and people, earlier memories and skills enjoyed in their younger years can often remain intact.
That is why opportunities that tap into earlier memories so often bring shared moments of enjoyment, not only for the individual but to family and friends around them.
Inter-generational programs benefit everyone in more ways than we might think.
Ruth Lang’s golf tip session caught the attention of the local Oak Lawn newspaper, The Reporter. When asked about the event by the reporter, Shannon Dahlman, community relations director for Grace Point Place remarked, “Many of our seniors are lifelong golfers and fans. Our residents reminisced and schared their love of the game with a new generation of golfers and made new friends.”
When older adults are able to get together with young people, amazing connections are made which bring significant benefits to both groups. We regularly observe the increased energy and improved cognition of our residents when young people visit. We also can’t help but notice the genuine interest sparked in our young visitors, many of whom rarely are able to interact with older individuals. Whether it’s a few words of wisdom or sharing a funny story, these connections are real and meaningful to all.
Families of individuals living with dementia should be encouraged to find opportunities for their loved ones to engage with young people as often as possible. It won’t be long before you are able to witness the benefits for yourself.