The Power of Connection When Coping with Memory Loss
By Sarah Adams, MSW, LISW
Our human brains are complex – every year we learn more, and yet, it’s just a drop in the bucket. Whether you are concerned about your own memory, have a dementia diagnosis, or care for someone who does, the symptoms and impact of memory loss and other associated changes can be jarring. Furthermore, the stigma associated with dementia has a profound impact on people taking a proactive approach to diagnosis, planning, and building a network of support. Dementia can isolate and shrink people’s networks at the very time they need them most.
We know that meaningful activities and socialization, as well as physical activity have a powerful impact on our brain health with or without a dementia diagnosis. Opportunities for a person living with dementia to be engaged and connected is essential to maintaining a sense of self, purpose, and value at a time when one might feel out of control. An important step in this is creating a dementia-friendly community, where the broader population understands the impact of the dementia on individuals and families, and adapts in order to be inclusive of the people impacted by the disease.
FamilyMeans Caregiving & Aging program is a leader in local dementia-friendly initiatives and offers services to support caregivers and people living with memory loss through 1:1 consultation, support groups, Memory Cafes, Shaping Your Tomorrow: Dementia & MCI education series, and a community-based early memory loss program, Community Connection. We also employ virtual reality to build empathy and understanding in the broader community about the impacts of dementia.
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