Bringing Smiles, Laughter and Families Together

Bringing Smiles, Laughter and Families Together

“They are extremely beneficial to the patients and families,” commented Grant Parmer, Memory Support Aide at Hospice & Community Care. “The patients are smiling more, laughing more and are more engaged. The families are interacting more with their loved ones. Thank you, Women’s Giving Circle members, for funding this amazing resource – the Dementia Resource Kits.”

The Dementia Resource Kits offer activities, resources and educational materials to build connections with patients during visits. These kits are customizable based on the specific interests and capabilities of patients and may include: magazines, pictures books and short stories encouraging reminiscing; dolls and mechanical cats and dogs bringing comfort and companionship; and fidget blankets offering sensory therapy for agitated patients

A Purr-fect Connection
She was restless and her anxiety was at an all-time high. Something needed to be done to help Mary manage her symptoms of dementia and provide her with comfort. Grant, had been visiting Mary weekly and through conversations discovered that she loved cats. She grew up on a farm and had raised and cared for cats all of her life. With the permission of Mary’s family, Grant introduced Mary to one of Hospice & Community Care’s electronic ‘companion’ cats, which was funded through the Women’s Giving Circle. Upon seeing the cat, Mary immediately started smiling and laughing and reached for it. The cat purred, moved its head and meowed. During each visit, Grant shared that Mary is holding and petting the cat, and that her anxiety and restlessness has subsided. Mary’s daughter is so appreciative and the cat has helped to strengthen her bond with her mother.

An Artist’s Touch
Fred loved art. He grew up painting watercolors, using acrylics and, he especially loved to draw. When he became restless and began calling out, Grant had the perfect remedy to help him – coloring books. Grant would sit with Fred and help guide him on using the coloring book. They would often spend a half an hour using the rainbow of colored pencils, weaving in and out of the lines coloring nature pictures. Over time, Grant, along with the senior living facility staff where Fred lived, noticed a big improvement in him. He didn’t call out and was more relaxed.

A Nurturing Moment
She named her baby doll Sarah. She feed her, held her and cared for her as if she was her own. Betty had dementia and was prone to wandering and calling out and nothing seemed to ease her symptoms. But after she was given her baby doll all that changed. The wandering stopped along with the calling out. Betty had several children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved being a mother and caregiver. The baby doll helped to bring back fond memories that she could share with her loved ones.

These are just some of the heartfelt and amazing stories we hear each day about the impact the Dementia Resource Kits have on our patients and families.

You too can be part of this impact by joining the Women’s Giving Circle. Members make an annual gift of $500. All membership contributions are pooled and utilized to fund grant requests submitted by Hospice staff. To join online, CLICK HERE or call the Development Office at (717) 295-3900 for more information.