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HomeColumnistsMarcia Norris and L.A. WalkerEnable Me Theatre: Mindful Memory Masters

Enable Me Theatre: Mindful Memory Masters

By Marcia Norris and L.A. Walker

Enable Me Theatre

thesite.org/enable-me-theatre

Do you sometimes grow weary from your daily tasks and scream, “I wish I were someone else?” Your wish is granted!

Imagine you’re a kayak gliding through the water. The sun glints off the ripples, and you feel the gentle push and pull of the currents. Each stroke of the paddle moves you forward, navigating the river’s ever-changing conditions.

As a care partner for a loved one with dementia, you embody the essence of this kayak. Your journey is filled with the need for adaptability. Just as a kayak must adjust to the shifting tides and sudden obstacles in the water, you, too, must be flexible, constantly adjusting your approach to meet the evolving needs and behaviors of the person in your care. Their world can change from one moment to the next, and your ability to adapt ensures their comfort and well-being.

Navigating the river isn’t always smooth. There are hidden rocks, sudden turns, and sometimes treacherous currents. A kayaker must read the water, anticipate challenges, and maneuver with skill and patience. As a care partner, you navigate through the complexities of dementia with the same vigilance and care. You find ways to communicate, to understand, and to support. Each day presents new challenges, and your journey is about finding pathways through the difficulties, ensuring safe passage for both you and your loved one.

Balance is crucial in a kayak. Lean too far to one side, and you’ll tip over. In the same way, you must find balance in your life as a care partner. The demands are immense, both physically and emotionally. It’s essential to care for yourself and maintain your health and well-being so you can continue providing the support needed. This balance is delicate, but it is key to sustaining the journey.

Just as kayaking demands strength and endurance, caring for someone with dementia is no less demanding. It requires a level of resilience and the ability to keep going, even when the days are tough, and the path ahead seems uncertain. Your physical and emotional strength propels you forward, one day at a time, and it’s truly remarkable.

Amidst the challenges, there’s a profound sense of purpose. Kayaking offers a sense of adventure and fulfillment, a connection to the beauty and power of nature. As a care partner, you experience a similar sense of purpose. The impact you have on the life of your loved one is not just significant, it’s immeasurable. Your care, patience, and love all contribute to their comfort and dignity, and that’s a reason to be incredibly proud.

So, give yourself a thunderous round of applause! Look at all the tasks you accomplish daily. You are amazing! Sure, like a kayak trapped in a lengthy storm, you may appear a little battered and bruised, but your stubborn resilience conceals any scrapes sustained from the storm. Remember, you are not simply a care partner. You’re a Kayak.

Marcia Norris and L.A. Walker, Executive Directors of Social Issues Theatre, have spearheaded the Enable Me Theatre pilot program.

Drawing from their personal experiences – Norris’s ongoing care for her mother and Walker’s journey alongside her late spouse’s battle with Lewy Body Dementia – they are committed to addressing the holistic needs of the dementia community. They understand the importance of caregivers finding ways to connect with their loved ones daily.

Persons with dementia deserve to continue enjoying fulfilling lives filled with creativity, passion, and joy, even as their memory changes. Unfortunately, the diagnosis often leads to isolation, robbing patients of opportunities for expression and enjoyment.

The Enable Me Theatre pilot program not only offers a fresh perspective on dementia caregiver/partner relations but also provides tools to foster harmony between patients and caregivers. By emphasizing collaboration and meaningful engagement, it aims to enhance the quality of life for all involved in the dementia journey.

The Enable Me Theatre Pilot Program aims to revolutionize dementia care by integrating therapeutic theatre techniques into the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s and related ADRDs. It will acquaint caregivers/partners with tools that will support them in providing mindful and patient care. Through a series of interactive workshops, participants can tap into their creativity, engage in storytelling, and experience the joy and relaxation of actively participating in theatre productions.

Marcia Norris and L.A. Walker
Marcia Norris and L.A. Walker
Marcia Norris and L.A. Walker, Executive Directors of Social Issues Theatre, have spearheaded the Enable Me Theatre pilot program. Drawing from their personal experiences – Norris's ongoing care for her mother and Walker's journey alongside her late spouse's battle with Lewy Body Dementia – they are committed to addressing the holistic needs of the dementia community. They understand the importance of caregivers finding ways to connect with their loved ones daily. Persons with dementia deserve to continue enjoying fulfilling lives filled with creativity, passion, and joy, even as their memory changes. Unfortunately, the diagnosis often leads to isolation, robbing patients of opportunities for expression and enjoyment. The Enable Me Theatre pilot program not only offers a fresh perspective on dementia caregiver/partner relations but also provides tools to foster harmony between patients and caregivers. By emphasizing collaboration and meaningful engagement, it aims to enhance the quality of life for all involved in the dementia journey. The Enable Me Theatre Pilot Program aims to revolutionize dementia care by integrating therapeutic theatre techniques into the lives of those affected by Alzheimer's and related ADRDs. It will acquaint caregivers/partners with tools that will support them in providing mindful and patient care. Through a series of interactive workshops, participants can tap into their creativity, engage in storytelling, and experience the joy and relaxation of actively participating in theatre productions.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this wonderful article. I have many friends who are caregivers and are always looking for content that can encourage their spirits, and enhance their ability to care for their own well-being. This is a beautiful article and you both are on a beautiful mission. You are both truly “Difference Makers.”

  2. Thank you for acknowledging the need for caregiver support and respite. The kayak analogy is perfect and peaceful.

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