People with dementia and their families spend a day “Bridging Memories”

Chippewa Falls (WQOW)- Camp isn’t just for kids anymore. Thursday, those with dementia and their families traveled to Kamp Kenwood for the Bridging Memories event.

It’s an opportunity for people with dementia to spend time with loved ones and build memories together while sharing support tips with others.

Dana Brehmer, a partner with HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, said it’s important to have a space for everyone to feel comfortable and support each other. 

"When you’re caretaking for someone who has dementia, it’s really difficult to find a place in the community that’s safe for them, or that other folks can understand their needs. So, we try to build places in the community, where you know if you bring your mom or your mother-in-law or your dad or so forth, that it’s going to be safe, and it’s going to be a place where they get the most of their day and they’re not real confused," Brehmer said.

Thursday people had the chance to go for a pontoon ride, paint, create small planters, enjoy a bonfire and hang out with service animals. 

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Speech and Language Pathologist Teresa Olson said not only are those events fun, they’re good for your brain.  

"There’s something you can do for what they call brain health to keep your brain healthy, that’s good things for all of us to do," Olson said. "One of them is nutrition throughout you’re lifetime, another one is physical activity. Even moderate physical activity has been shown to be very helpful it gets the blood flowing and gets blood up to the brain."

Olson said warning signs to look out for with dementia include memory loss that disrupts daily life, planning or problem-solving challenges and change in mood and personality. 
 

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