Dementia News

With A Little Help is proud to present the return of advocate and educator Teepa Snow. Snow's workshops, "The ABC's and D's of Dementia,"  integrate up to date knowledge about dementia with strategies and tools for building personal connections with people experiencing the condition. Entertaining...

EW archEW blue 1EW wave Does spiritual essence stay the same despite physical or cognitive changes? That’s a deep question, isn’t it? We may wonder things like this when faced with serious physical decline or a loved one’s advanced dementia. How can we reach someone we once knew? Sandy Sabersky, founder of Elderwise, Seattle’s innovative day program for people living with early to mid-stage dementia, based her program on certainty that essence does stay the same. Programs are geared to access wholeness and essence through intuition, imagination, and inspiration. That core philosophy, called “Spirit Centered care,” drives the unique and nurturing day program and its exciting community partnerships. [caption id="attachment_1661" align="alignleft" width="151"]Don paints amaryllis Don paints amaryllis[/caption]
Music is all around us. We hear it in movies, at social gatherings, weddings and funerals, in stores and offices, and in our places of worship.  Whenever we encounter it our bodies react physiologically and our minds form associations. Because we’re all in contact with music and all experiencing its powerful effects, therapists have long suspected it could be used therapeutically. Music therapists began integrating music as a healing modality in the 1970’s but demonstrating its value took time. Today mounting research and case studies, and the advent of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and FMRI (Functional Magnetic Imaging), substantiate music as an effective therapy for stress and a variety of mental and physical health conditions including Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Welcome! The doors are opening on Seattle’s Alzheimer’s Cafés. The first café, located in the Greenwood neighborhood, now in operation for over 2 years, serves people with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their families and partners. On the menu is food, drinks, fun and enjoyment every second Tuesday for 1 ½ hours from 3:30-5pm. Carin Mack, a local geriatric social worker, started the café which has spurred cafe development in many metro areas such as: West Seattle, Bothell, Columbia City, Green Lake, Renton, and Bellevue. “The goal is one in every neighborhood,” Mack said enthusiastically. “They’re easy to start. It doesn’t cost money,” Mack said of her successful program. “One needs to find a good space in the community and work with a willing business owner to host the cafe. Each cafe is different and it is a good idea to visit one or two before you set one up,” she explained. “You need someone willing to do the publicity, a person who will be there for continuity and a couple volunteers.” Attendance at most cafes varies month to month though the Columbia city café, hosted quarterly by Tutta Bella, draws a crowd. “Oh, it’s magical,” Mack emphasized. “They set up a buffet of four pizzas and salad and everyone buys their own beer or beverage.”
“One of the biggest fallacies we have is that Dementia=Alzheimers=memory problems. We can get rid of that right now,” Teepa Snow, a nationally recognized expert in Dementia training, told a caregiver gathering last year, “Dementia= brain failure and as long as we think ‘memory problems’ we’re denying the devastation that someone with dementia has to live through.” Snow’s popular dementia training sessions draw audiences throughout the nation. With A Little Help’s caregivers have attended and received her training certification during her several trips to the Seattle area.  In April, With A Little Help brought Snow to Seattle once again where she conducted 2 sessions in a day long workshop of state approved training for caregivers, social workers and RN’s.