To the Editor:
On July 15, the Memory Support Group celebrated its one-year anniversary of moving to Featherstone Center for the Arts, and what a wonderful year it has been. With the enthusiastic support of Ann Smith, the Featherstone staff, Veronica Modini, and Emmaline Brown, the board of directors, our musician Gary Cogley, and the artists who have enhanced our program, we have continued to grow membership, and now have two groups.
Our attendees are very grateful, and wish to express what this group has meant to them. One member said the welcoming atmosphere made all the difference for his attending. Others liked the different people they met and became friends with, people on paths that never would have crossed without common memory issues.
The music is always a hit; according to Ben Moore, it’s a big part of what he likes. The art part of our program, which along with music is known to stimulate memory and improve mood, has included sessions at the pottery shed and the print shop. We have painted with different artists coaching us, and attended the openings of many shows. It has all been an amazing experience, and opened a world of interests and newfound talents for many of our members.
Members note the “pink quote bucket” that is part of every meeting. We pass it around the group, each member picks a quote and reads it out loud, and then we discuss it. It is good for memory, thoughtful discussion, and often for laughter. We also do trivia and pictograms, both very popular. A large part of what we do is educational and informational. We discuss memory strategies, safety issues in the home and other places, nutritional strategies to support brain health, general health care topics, and community resources. We always keep the members apprised of the latest research which offers hope to those struggling with a diagnosed memory issue, as well as those who may be worried about their own future.
On behalf of all of the people who attend our groups, we thank Featherstone for knowing what helps with memory loss, and providing the structure to deliver the program in a safe and welcoming place. We always welcome new members, summer as well as year-round residents.
Nancy Langman and Victoria Haeselbarth, co-leaders