This is a continuation of the Anne Davis Basting’s Book Post 3, Forget Memory, Part 2. Blasting writes about many programs and people that have had a positive influence on patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers. I can’t write about them all, but I will highlight a few. The back of the book has a complete list of all the progams she mentions, along with their descriptions and contact information.
Anne Davis Basting’s Book Post 3 and First Stages
Many of the programs help people in their first stages because these are very important times. Not only is the person scared and upset by a new diagnoses, but they feel that they have a lot to do before their disease progresses. That is where support groups come in as well. StoryCorps and the Memory Loss Initiative is a fast-growing program that has been bringing back the lost art of listening. In a professional recording setting, people are recorded telling their stories about their past. It could be between family members or with a volunteer interviewer.
Anne Davis Basting’s Book Post 3 Shared on Radio
The participants can have a copy of their recording and some stories are shared on public radio. It has had very positive responses, because many participants learned new things about each other and “the experience helped people appreciate the beauty of the present moment.” For more inoformation, visit www.storycorps.net. Another positive program is called To Whom I May Concern, which is “both a play and a technique for creating and presenting a play based on the words of people with early memory loss.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients
It is also acted by people with early memory loss.” Some parts of the play are funny and some are sad, but overall, the play allows Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to convey messages to a large audience and have their undivided attention. For more information, visit www.towhomimayconcern.org. TimeSlips is a program created by Anne Basting.
She had been volunteering at a nursing home, working with a small group of patients to get them to interact. Here is an excerpt from her experience: “I gave up on memory, of trying to trigger thoughts of the past. Instead, I tore a picture of the Marlboro Man from a magazine and dragged along with me a big pad of newsprint paper and a box of markers. I gathered the group, and we sat down around our usual table in the common room… “Forget about remembering,” I said. “Let’s make it up. What should we call this guy? You can say anything you want, and I’ll write it down. Anything.” Suddenly group members started talking, and “the story went on for 45 minutes. By the end, we knew that Fred Astaire (the Marlboro Man) was married to Gina Autry. They didn’t have kids, because they didn’t have time.
They did have three dogs, and they tended black and white cows that said, ‘Hi Pat.’ They performed in rodeos – she did the barrel riding and he roped calves. She was better than he was. They had a big Christmas dinner. They served goose on a white tablecloth.” Like many other programs, TimeSlips focuses on the present moment instead of trying to remember the past. These TimeSlips stories have also been made into plays which have been popular as well.
For more information visit www.timeslips.org. Post by Kate Valdovinos.