As you may know, the 1950's and 1960's were the heyday of the department store. Many women back in the day would put on their hats and gloves and go “downtown” to shop, have lunch and occasionally enjoy a local fashion show, hosted by a local department store. In more recent years the fashion show has taken a more hip and glamorous turn with TV runway fashion shows. If you have a mom over the age of 70, however, chances are she at some point enjoyed an old fashioned outing to the local department store fashion show.
Chelsea Place Memory Care in Littleton, Colorado partnered recently with students from nearby Regis Jesuit High School to give their residents an opportunity to stage and participate in their own fashion show, complete with a walk down their own red carpet.
Students and staff were happy to take on the make-up artist and fashion designer roles, transforming residents into fashion mavens for a day. The fun activities also gave the residents a glimpse back at memories of the past, days when many of them remember dressing up with gloves and hats to go downtown and enjoy a fashion show.
Engaging individuals with dementia in activities that they once enjoyed in earlier times can have a powerful impact. Not only can it spark a memory or two, but it also can foster a more natural connection between them and those around them.
At Anthem Memory Care communities, when young people participate in our events, they are not only helping to provide a nice social experience for residents, they also gain a greater understanding of those who are challenged with dementia. That is why we have multiple programs geared towards bringing students from local schools through our doors. We also believe that it’s important to the families of our residents to know that their loved ones are involved in a variety of social activities and that they are receiving the therapeutic benefits of inter-generational experiences.
(The image shown with this blog was taken by Aaron Ontiveroz, photographer with the Denver Post, who covered the event. The image shows Chelsea Place Life Engagement Director, Jenni Dill, applying makeup to resident, Susie Thome.)