Nelson has always loved working with his hands. Even after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of dementia, the 77-year-old retired sheet metal worker felt compelled to build things. When the memory care resident at Amica Little Lake started to take apart his own glasses to satisfy his urge to tinker, team members recognized an opportunity to help him indulge his passion and find a sense of purpose. They bought mechanical toys to manipulate and asked if he’d like to keep his hands busy while volunteering: soon he was peeling apples for making pies.
“Evidence shows that the right tools and approaches can help people with dementia continue to function well or even better than they did before,” Dr. Heather Palmer, Director of Cognitive Well-Being, told a reporter for The Globe and Mail in this article on how Amica is helping people with cognitive decline by creating leading memory care programs. “While we can’t stop the disease, we can manage the cognitive abilities that are affected by it like memory, language and multi-tasking.”
Nelson’s daughter Suzanne has noticed her father’s improvement since he moved to memory care, where he’s under the care of a geriatrician and has complete support from staff who are certified in dementia care. (Nelson’s wife lives in the same residence in assisted living.) “The geriatrician noticed an improvement in his alertness and responsiveness and commented that he seemed to be thriving in the new setting,” she told a reporter for The Globe and Mail in sharing her family’s story about how moving to Amica has helped her father.
Leading a happy purposeful life doesn’t stop with a dementia diagnosis. “When people think of dementia, they think end-stage: sitting in a wheelchair in a nursing home and unable to speak,” says Dr. Saskia Sivananthan, Chief Research and Knowledge Transfer Experience Officer at the Alzheimer Society of Canada told a reporter for The Globe and Mail. “People can live well with dementia for 20 years. The key is that they need the support to be able to do it.”
Find out how Amica is using the latest research to design activities and programs to support residents like Nelson in this Globe and Mail article on the changing science of dealing with cognitive decline.
Learn more about how residents are enjoying great activities, amenities, dining and personalized care at Amica residences. Schedule a personal tour today.