#WATWB: Fox Valley Memory Project

Fox Valley Memory Project

As many of my readers know, my 97-year old mom has dementia and lives in assisted living. We have had quite the journey together with the various stages of dementia – watching the decline, keeping mom from being anxious and trying to have peaceful conversations. It is no wonder, then, that my heart lit up like a Christmas tree when I found out about the Fox Valley Memory Project in Appleton and surrounding communities.

“The Fox Valley Memory Project collaborates with other organizations to offer programs and services that improve quality of life for persons with dementia, as well as their family care partners and friends. We encourage practices of hospitality and inclusion that make our community dementia-friendly. Our vision for living well with dementia includes Memory Cafes, a Memory Loss Resource Center, Workplace Enrichment, Long Term Care Outreach, Community Education, a Memory Assessment Center, In-home Coaching and Dementia Research. We are also supporting area businesses and organizations in providing dementia-friendly service.”

Atlas Waterfront Cafe

Within the Memory Project are Memory Cafes, places where those with dementia can hang out family and friends in a relaxed atmosphere.

“Atlas Waterfront Cafe & Gathering Room is proud to be part of the Dementia Awareness Program, a joint effort between local businesses and the Fox Valley Memory Project, led by John and Susan McFadden. While we strive to provide hospitality and support to all guests, we are particularly cognizant of many who are struggling with symptoms associated with dementia, including memory loss and confusion. We are committed to improving quality of life for persons with dementia, as well as their family care partners and friends. Our dementia-aware environment includes a quiet venue, sufficient lighting, and a relaxing atmosphere in addition to patient and respectful employees. We ask for your understanding and your assistance. One way for you to help is by limiting your cell phone use to our outer lobby. Thank you for your patience, your love and your kind consideration.”

watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-whiteThe “We are the World” Blogfest is in its fourth month of a year-long journey. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Lynn Hallbrooks, Michelle WallaceSylvia Stein, Sylvia McGrath and Belinda Witzenhausen welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2018.

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51 responses to #WATWB: Fox Valley Memory Project

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Right, Joey! I’m becoming very proud of Appleton and the surrounding communities for the good work they do for people in need.

  1. This is amazing! My heart goes out to you and your Mom. We have experience with Alzheimer’s in our family and a place like this is such a fantastic idea. Thanks so much for sharing! #WATWB

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Belinda. It’s wonderful to have a place where people with Alzheimer’s and dementia can relax in a quiet atmosphere. And I love that there are many resources for assistance. It’s a very good thing!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You are welcome. I’m very happy that this resource exists. It’s something that is needed in almost every community.

  2. Dan Antion says:

    What a great idea and a great humanitarian effort. Doing something to help people like your mom find a little more meaning in their lives is a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing. We’re keeping you and your mom in our prayers.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      These are the kind of efforts we need more of, Dan – those that help humanity. It can make America and the world a great place.

      Thanks for the prayers for mom. She’s hanging in there, but has been getting a little more anxious lately. She’s been asking for her mom a lot, along with wanting to go home. It’s a tough time for her, but she’s getting lots of good care.

      • Dan Antion says:

        I’m sure it’s tough for you, too. I wish you both the best. I’m glad she’s getting good care.

  3. Here’s sending love and prayers for your Mom, it is so hard to see our loved ones in suffering. This is a great project: thanks for bringing our attention to it: it will help so many people who desperately need it.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Mom and I thank you for your love and prayers, Damyanti. I hope many more projects like this pop exist across the country and in other parts of the world.

  4. Joanne Sisco says:

    The most touching line in here was in one of your comments that your mom has been asking for her mom. That made my eyes ‘wellie’. Bless her heart ❤

  5. Susan Scott says:

    Here’s hoping many more come to the fore in helping those with dementia and other disabling illnesses. Thanks for sharing this – all good wishes to all.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s and how it affects people is very important to helping them. I know that educating myself has helped greatly in dealing with my mother’s behavior and anxiety.

  6. Ally Bean says:

    Interesting way to make life easier/better for those suffering from dementia. Would that it catches on everywhere.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You’re welcome Emily. I have to believe that there are programs like this in other communities, in other states and countries. Such a good program!

  7. Having been on this journey with my own father I understand firsthand the challenges of dementia, and so appreciate seeing how we’re collectively becoming more sensitive to this impactful issue. Finding helpful resources and support is certainly something to celebrate, and the Fox Valley Memory Project sounds like a very good thing indeed. Sending kind thoughts and wishes to both you and your mom.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Mom and I thank you, Deborah. I’m sorry you had to go through that journey with your dad, but I’m sure that he had your loving support and that you sought out the help he needed. Resources are important and valuable – they can only help patients and family members cope with the disease and affect.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Mom is not able to go to the memory cafe because she lives in a different county and no longer leaves her facility. However, I’m sure that many others are taking advantage of the cafe and making some happy memories there.

      • simonfalk28 says:

        Mary, last night I saw a YouTube clip – actually, I binged them a bit – by a Dupuis who plays harp guitar. In the comments someone said they played it for a loved one with dementia. I thought of you and your dear mum. Can she still hear music?

      • bikerchick57 says:

        That’s sweet of you to think of my mom, Simon. She can hear some music, but it is difficult as she also has severe hearing loss and hearing aids in both ears. TV and radio is just noise to her, as is some music.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this Mary~ As caregiver for my mother who had Alzheimer’s, I can really relate as to how important having a place like this is to the patient and family

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You are welcome. It’s good to know that many other people/families in our situations have access to these wonderful programs.

  9. daisymae2017 says:

    I think it’s admirable you wanting to help your Mom any way you can. With your work, I hope you can help others too. I used to work in a nursing home for a while. It’s stressful. Sorry your mom has dementia.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Daisy Mae. I’m also sorry mom has dementia, but there isn’t anything I can do to change that. So, I cope with it and do the best I can to make sure she is taken care of.

  10. I loved your post and thank you for sharing it with all of us. I love that they have this Memory Project which will help so many who are dealing with dementia and among them being your beautiful and brave mother.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thank you, I was thrilled to share this post! My mom certainly is beautiful…and still feisty. I wanted people to know that there are resources out there and that people with dementia and Alzheimer’s need special help and love rather than to be shunned or tossed aside.

  11. Inderpreet says:

    This is such a thoughtful initiative, dementia is so difficult – my aunt has it and it is heart-wrenching to watch her. I am in tears when I am around her.
    Thank you for sharing about the project. We need more of these all over the world.

    Thank you so much! In Darkness, Be Light. Team #WATWB

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Inderpreet, if it is available to you, check out the book “Creating Moments of Joy” by Jolene Brackey. The author is a nurse who spent many years with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. This is a great read and one that helped me cry less and understand more about the diseases. Knowing about the behavior and learning how to better interact with mom gave me more peace and less sadness. I hope the next time you visit your aunt, you can hold her hand and feel joy in the time you have with her.

      • Inderpreet says:

        I will check it out, must available on amazon. Thanks for sharing this. Glad to know the book helped you, Mary. Hugs.

  12. LB says:

    I was wondering how your mom has been doing.
    That Atlas Cafe is wonderful. What a great mission!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Mom had some serious struggles just before Memorial Day, but she’s hanging in there and doing okay with some extra love from the assisted living staff and hospice.

      • LB says:

        I’m so glad that you’ve found support for her and for you. Tough, tough days I’m sure.

  13. BellyBytes says:

    It’s really awfully painfully to see someone you loved and admired fall prey to dementia. And what is worse is the knowledge that we ourselves will one day go through it ( possibly) . Support groups are essential to deal with this otherwise traumatic condition….

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