Letter: Brain Train benefits
We would like to thank the Roaring Fork Brain Train program of Senior Matters for filling a void in our community by providing an intentional, supportive and therapeutic social group experience for our mother, Peggy, and others with early memory loss.
With Peggy’s Alzheimer’s, new friendships are hard to develop. She moved here three years ago so we could be close to her and care for her, and therefore she doesn’t have an old community of friends here beyond our small family. When her needs became more than we could manage on our own, she moved into long-term care. While that’s been a relief and support for our family, we knew the move meant less opportunities to walk on her own outside, to socialize with an array of people, to really live her day to day according to her own vision – all things that have brought her joy throughout her vibrant life.
Twice a week when it is time for Peggy to attend Brain Train, she is confused. She can’t recall that she attends such a group that supports her in her journey through memory loss and provides her a safe space to connect with others going through similar experience. She confusedly gathers her things, trustingly walks out the door with us, and hesitantly approaches the door to Senior Matters. When she enters the room, she looks around, starts to remember and recognize faces, and whispers in our ear words like “Do you see her over there? I love her, I must go say hello to her.” She barely says goodbye to us as we walk out, so happy to be reuniting with friends she moments earlier didn’t recall having. As we pick her up at the end of Brain Train, she always says the same thing: “I just love these people. All of them. They are incredible.”
Thank you, Senior Matters for engaging caring staff and volunteers to facilitate intentional programming designed for the unique needs of our loved ones with memory loss, and for helping meet a need for services for adults with memory loss and Alzheimer’s/dementia in our valley. It makes an enormous difference.
Dirk and Brooke Bockelman
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