MY APPROACH: I started my professional journey as a Life Enrichment and Art Therapy Intern. It was during these formative years that I was invited to use my creativity to become relational with others. I discovered that I was able to tap into my many interests of travel, history, art, religion and faith, music, theatre, literature, and even the stock market, through the conversations I had and the programs I helped to both facilitate and develop. This foundation is what started the Dementia Letters Project (the program) and what you experience today through the Dementia Letters Project. I continue that foundational work, only in a slightly different manner. Instead of working for any specific organization or community, I am here to serve you, no matter where you might be, through in-person and virtual programming in the home, an adult day, skilled or assisted living, community organization, and beyond.
My mission is to continue to serve others using the structure of Life Enrichment, both through program development and facilitation, but also in the training of Life Enrichment/Activities staff. Everyone should be allowed to live wealthy in connection, regardless of the place they call home, their access to community services, or what their current care plan offers.
Your team has a great capacity to provide a vibrant and connected community, but sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to reach each client or resident in the way they need you most. This is where I come in. I can work with you to provide the Life Enrichment programming that you might struggle to offer or don’t have the time to do. Maybe you want to schedule a program that would require additional training for your staff. Or you need to isolate a wing or building on your campus because of illness, but you still want to reach and honor their social needs. Let us work together to offer each individual in your care, a vibrant and joyful connection.
Whether you have an existing program or would like to start one, let us work together to provide dignified, joyful programming for those living with dementia and their care partners.
Care Community, Senior Center, School, In-Home Care, Adult Day. These are only a few of the handful of locations where I provide program support by developing and facilitating programs for residents and clients.
As a Certified TimeSlips Facilitator, I can work with you to create any program, long or short, to lead a program rooted in storytelling. Curious as to why higher a Certified Facilitator? Check out this blog post from TimeSlips: https://www.timeslips.org/why-hire-a-timeslips-certified-facilitator/
Tidbit of Research: 1-3 hours of arts engagement per week can help improve cognitive function that is akin to exercising for 1 hour ever week.* A powerful reminder of what it can look like to live fully alive with dementia.
*PARTICIPATORY AND RECEPTIVE ARTS ENGAGEMENT IN OLDER ADULTS: ASSOCIATION WITH COGNITION OVER A SEVEN YEAR PERIOD BY JESSICA BONE, DAISY FANCOURT, JILL SANKE, AND FEIFEI BU IN JULY 2022.
Yes, you read that correctly. Start with Bingo. But don’t stay there. Observe who attained, why they come to play, and how the interact with each other and you, and create within and beyond the game of BINGO to fill out your calendar.
Why does your activities calendar look the way it does? Is it because it is mandated by the state or your corporate office? Is it because your residents have requested the program or love the program? Is it because it is known or has research behind its success? Find out the why, and don’t be afraid to transform the program or replace it if the why is anytime less than it is enjoyed and brings purpose and connection.
Create an Artist in Residence program with the local school or university, and engage hobbyists and professionals alike in the arts, or other professionals related to the life’s work of your residents. Build connections with local farmers and gardeners. Don’t allow the walls of your building to be gates locked for both sides.
Research is wonderful, but it is still only a piece of paper in most of our lives. If what research says will work, doesn’t, throw it out. Creative from your intuition, knowledge, and from the undeniable connection between human hearts.
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