Jan 28, 2011

Camp For Alzheimer's Patients Isn't About Memories

So, first time I had 24 hours to myself, because normally, I only sleep like, maybe, two hours a night because she's up and she wanders and she turns on the stove, and she does stuff like that....

Alzheimer's Reading Room

There is an excellent article and audio cast available on the National Public Radio (NPR) website about this wonderful camp for Alzheimer's patients.

If you have the time, I would suggest you listen to the audio.

Go here to read and listen to -- Camp For Alzheimer's Patients Isn't About Memories

When Samara Howard recently dropped off her elderly mother Johnnye Jennings at a three-day camp for people with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, it was the first night she'd been away from Jennings in seven years.

"Normally, I only sleep maybe two hours a night because she wakes up and she wanders and she turns on the stove," says Howard, who eventually had to quit her job to take care of her mother full-time. "I haven't slept through the night in years."
The Camp for Caring is a weekend sleepover camp at a woodsy conference center outside San Francisco. The retreat, sponsored a few times a year — funding permitting — by the nonprofit Family Caregiver Alliance, brings together 18 to 20 people who have dementia for a refreshing, engaging weekend of music, dance, reminiscing and other activities that emphasize strengths instead of losses.

The campers typically don't remember details of the retreat, says Caitlin Morgan, the gerontologist and social worker who directs the camp. But the experience significantly lifts their mood.

"It's all about the feeling," Morgan says. "By the end of the retreat, [they say] 'whatever we did, it feels like something good has happened here.'"

Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room
Enter Your Email Address

More About the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 2,260 articles with more than 284,500 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room