Patti Gosselin put together the Hands of Time with photos of some of the resident’s hands, made a collage and hung them around the facility.
Life stations, sing-a-longs, national days of celebration, workshops and more are the many ways Life Enrichment Director at Superior Residences and Memory Care of Brandon, Patti Gosselin, keeps her dementia patients busy. Dementia is an extremely common occurrence in those of us getting older. Gosselin said, “I never know if they remember who I am.” Probably not, but Gosselin is not deterred, she is even encouraged to try harder.
She started a men’s club, and even though only six or seven men attend, those who do build with their hands as they did in earlier lives. They built a wooden windmill for their mini golf course, working together, not always agreeing with the methods. They also made toy wooden airplanes, trains and cars for children at charities as gifts.
Superior Residences, located at 1819 Providence Ridge Rd., also has Life Stations set up like nurseries, kitchens, laundry rooms, offices and music rooms, so the residents feel like they never left home. I was amazed at how many of the women would hold and nurture dolls as if they were real. Some don’t understand these items do not belong to them, so the staff has a “search and find” each night, going through rooms while residents sleep in order to return items to where they belong. Gosselin is currently working on a fishing station, where men will find fishing rods, tackle boxes and reels to pretend to fish with.
Gosselin has a real love for making these residents happy. She said, “What they used to do is very important to them.” She plans cookouts, Bingo using mini-marshmallows and National Cereal Day, where the residents could pick their favorite cereal. There are plastic bowling pins for bowling day, a huge beach ball for them to toss while in a circle, so they get exercise without feeling like they are exercising; a huge parachute to also grab hold of and toss in the air, dart boards, table ring toss and more. Each Wednesday, there is a spa say, where women can get a massage, while sipping tea. Twice a month, the residents have happy hour, and choose a country and have food from that country.
Gosselin took pictures of some of the resident’s hands, enlarged them and made posters displayed throughout the facility. She and Jill Andrew, the manager of the facility, are kind and loving people and the residents are very lucky to be there. For more information, call 657-8587or visit superioralf.com.