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Personal Testimonial 1

Brain Stimulating Exercises For Dementia

Dear Barbara,
Iíd like to share some concerns I have about my Motherís care and see what you can suggest that may improve her quality of life.

In March my family moved my Mother from a medical model assisted living home to one using a social model. Many positive changes took place. Her care is not so regimented,-she can now get up and go to bed when she chooses. The living space is more open and homelike. Mother spends most of her day in the common areas instead of alone in her room. Her care plan includes time outside daily, weather permitting. Her anxiety is much less. She has been taken off many of her medications including those that help her sleep. Her body rigidity, facial grimacing and lengthy yelling spells are gone.

While her dementia remains quite severe her ability to speak understandably is much improved. I have not seen her paranoid or psychotic in at least two months. She is stronger and walking more. She has so much improved that I have been able to take her out for nature drives and walks in the wheelchair.

So why do I have concerns when my mother has made so much improvement?  My concerns are that she has improved so much. Instead of regressing, she is progressing. But she now needs more mental stimulation, not to reduce her dementia but to improve her quality of life. Her care givers are pleasant but are busy taking care of the residents needs. There are other staff who interact with her at times but there are many waking hours where she just sits with nothing to do. I often find her, as well as the rest of the residents, sleeping in a chair when I visit in the afternoon. She has advanced macular degeneration and cannot see to do visual activities. She enjoys listening to music but that doesnít provide mental stimulation.

I would like to find someone who can talk with her- to prompt her memories and to allow her to express an opinion. I thought she was no longer capable of this but in the past three weeks she has surprised me with what she has been able to share when I visit. I had hoped that the facility would be able to provide some type of inter active mental stimulation but I am not seeing any on a regular basis.

Can you recommend anyone who could provide this type of service? Your Communication Programs that provide a brain stimulating curriculum for stages 3,4,5, and 6 dementia sounds very encouraging and I believe my Mother would enjoy and benefit from the brain exercises. I know it is important to stimulate my Motherís brain on a regular basis. I would be willing to pay for someone to conduct the Communication Programís brain exercises with my Mother a few days a week.

Sincerely,
Kate Fegan, COTA

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