Earlier this week Memory Matters held an Open House. This was something not previously offered, but we wanted to reach out to the community at large and increase awareness of our near twenty years of memory care experience, resource and innovative programs which has led us to being recognized in the Low Country as:
The Community Resource for Memory Care.
This Community Vision has resulted in the adoption of a Mission that is pro-active, purposeful and focussed, namely:
Memory Matters is a local not-for-profit center of excellence which improves the quality of life for persons with dementia and their families, providing resources, support, respite and adult day services with compassion and dignity.
I was privileged to be invited to the Open House and met with some really nice people who were genuinely interested in knowing more about Memory Matters with the thought of becoming a volunteer or directing a loved one (or themselves) to one of our programs.
For those worried about dealing with an early diagnosis of a dementia or mild cognitive impairment it was a wonderful opportunity to reach out and offer them the comforting news that help is to hand. Clearly some of those I spoke to were still coming to terms with the stressful aftermath of a diagnosis and living with a partner suffering with at least some depression and feeling of isolation. This is not at all unusual and such issues tend to impair the memory still further.
The antidote is of course socialization, and the opportunity to stimulate the mind through the types of failure-free programs that we offer – all of which promote a feeling of well being and increased confidence.
Taking the first step and asking for help is not always easy. It was clear through the eyes of this volunteer and from the conversations at the Open House that it can be extremely traumatic and challenging. As a volunteer, this was the first time I had encountered this problem face to face, although a previous personal family experience had somewhat prepared me.
The people we spoke with were offered the opportunity to spend a day with us (Social Day Care or Connections program as appropriate) as an “observer” with no commitment other than to bring an open mind. This applied both to potential volunteers, and potential participants and their family.
The first step is the hardest, but help is only a phone call away.
Please share this if you believe it could help someone.