A thank you from the Fox Arts Network

Fox Valley Memory Project’s On a Positive Note Chorus, coordinated by Susan McFadden and directed by Kathleen Albrecht, has joined a number of arts organizations in the Fox Arts Network (FAN) to say thank you to the community for supporting the arts during these challenging times. To read the full statement from the Fox Arts Network, please find it here. Thank you for your continued support. https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/a-thank-you-from-the-fox-arts-network/

Crossing: A caregiver’s journey – Book Review by Susan H. McFadden

I have read a lot of poetry by people caring for loved ones with dementia, but this collection of poems is by far the best in my opinion. It describes a journey of love and care from the first moments of being concerned about someone’s cognitive abilities, to the time when care is no longer possible in the home and a transition must be made to a residential care community, and then to death and grief. The book opens by […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/crossing-a-caregivers-journey-book-review-by-susan-h-mcfadden/

Social Isolation Affects our Memory

In the last few years, there has been a lot of research on the effects of social isolation on health and well-being. In 2018, the government in the United Kingdom created a Ministry of Loneliness and stated that loneliness is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. Little did they know how much attention we’d be paying to loneliness and social isolation in 2020! Earlier this year, a research article reported on a study of over 10,000 […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/social-isolation-affects-our-memory/

Art Viewing and Art Making

People living with dementia in the Fox Valley enjoy regular opportunities to look at art and make art. For example, many Fox Valley Memory Project memory café gatherings include some kind of active engagement with the arts.   In addition, we have two SPARK programs in the Fox Valley that offer monthly experiences of art viewing and art making at the Building for Kids and the Trout Museum of Art. Also, you should know that if you travel to different […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/art-viewing-and-art-making/

Holding Onto Dignity With Dementia

One of the biggest challenges for people with dementia is retaining a sense of identity and meaning in life. How do people do this when they lose the ability to learn and retain new information, are confused about time and place, and have to rely on others to do things they once did independently? Researchers in the Netherlands conducted interviews with 14 people having mild to moderate dementia in order to answer this question. Personal dignity reflects people’s sense of […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/holding-onto-dignity-with-dementia/

The Healing Power of the Arts

One of the strengths of the Fox Valley Memory Project (FVMP) is its commitment to giving people living with dementia and their care partners opportunities for arts engagement. This includes people still living in their homes, as well as those who have moved to residential care. Since we began, the FVMP has sponsored annual community events to showcase various forms of creativity. We began with a Poetry Party with Alzheimer Poetry Project founder, Gary Glazner (http://www.alzpoetry.com/). Gary has an international […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/the-healing-power-of-the-arts/

What Does the Decline in Dementia Prevalence Really Mean?

A new study of over 21,000 Americans age 65 and older has shown that the prevalence of dementia declined significantly between 2000 and 2012. This sounds like good news—and it is—but you need to dig a bit deeper into the study to see what’s really going on.  All the participants in this research are enrolled in a huge study of older adults in the United States called the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Beginning in 1992, researchers at the University […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/what-does-the-decline-in-dementia-prevalence-really-mean/

Group Singing Creates Joy!

A recent study published in one of the top gerontology journals confirms what many people in the Fox Valley have already learned: group singing has many benefits for people with dementia and their care partners. Researchers in England interviewed seventeen couples who participated in a variety of types of singing groups. Everyone agreed that the group singing experiences were joyful and accessible. Before describing how they conducted the research and analyzed the results, the researchers began bystating, “The majority of […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/group-singing-creates-joy/

Driving Safely: Does Your Doctor Know Best?

One of the most robust findings about aging is that as we get older, we slow down not only in our motor responses, but also in the time it takes us to make decisions. This is especially true in situations (like roundabouts!) where a lot of information needs to be processed quickly. All of us know older people who have changed their driving habits because they no longer see well at night, or they no longer feel confident on crowded […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/driving-safely-does-your-doctor-know-best/

The Sniff Test

Researchers have known for a number of years that people with Alzheimer’s dementia have a poorer sense of smell than persons without dementia. Not having a good sense of odors can reduce enjoyment of life because of the connection between odors and tastes, and it can also be dangerous if a person doesn’t smell smoke or a gas leak. We don’t realize how we process scents all day long and how this contributes to our orientation toward the world. I […] https://www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org/the-sniff-test/
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