I chose to use this photograph again, the one from the march in Washington, to show the same need in Dementia and Alzheimer's community.
The need to feel SEEN and HEARD. Yesterday was my first day of training and research on those with Dementia and the amazing care givers who take care of them.
I will share what i learn here, as i know there are so many who are affected by this.
Why am i doing this research and training? I am creating a program that marries music and story telling for those with dementia and Alzheimer's and for those affected by it; their families and care givers.
The first day began with a quote from Willa Cather. "Where there is great love, there are always miracles". Could not be truer. I sat in a room with men and women who are professional care givers and are from around the globe. They come from places like: Ghana, Phillipines, Jamaica, Sardinia, Guatemala and so many more. Today was an ice breaker and introduction to the keys to working with those with Dementia. When you have a disorder that robs your memories, stories and eventually your sense of SELF; then the art of Communication becomes even more VITAL. The energy from my fellow classmates was amazing, they are giving loving attention and so much energy in VERY difficult scenarios. In coming blogs i will interview some of these men and women and share their stories.
"I fear i am not in my perfect mind" -King Lear.
The emotional imbalance, the sudden unfamiliarity of your surroundings and fear that it causes, can take the VOICE of a person with dementia and render it SILENT. Especially when they see that the family and care givers around them are ignoring or are made upset by what they are trying to EXPRESS. We learned that being able to tell something to someone and have their loving attention, gives the gift of connection and engagement.
My program will help with just that. Taking two things that have been such a HUGE part of my life MUSIC and Story telling, to enhance connection to the SELF and to those around you.
I will share more in my next blog. Thanks for reading and please share any stories and experiences you have had with Dementia and Alzheimer's in your life, here in the comment section, so others can share your experiences and concerns.
Executive Director of Stories Love Music, Singer, Story Teller, Coach and Activist.