Activities

forMemory is a network of persons affected by cognitive changes that started before the age of sixty-five. We connect, support, and learn from each other. We document and make available our earliest symptoms, what makes us better, and what makes us worse. We discuss environmental, nutritional and stress-related influences. Through our website and materials we share insights on early cognitive changes. We provide training and materials nationwide for congregations and civic groups on ways to support and empower persons affected by cognitive changes. We publish books and prepare DVD’s to reach out and spread our message of hope. We speak through our Pathways of Hope book. We share our stories with families and the public. We train professional staff with first-hand accounts. We establish services for midwest youth including a five day Time for Us camp for young teens whose lives are touched by loved ones who experience cognitive changes. We advocate for partnerships in accessible health care and research systems, community connectedness, and a planet free of toxins. We encourage and participate in research collaborations. By speaking out as a united voice, we build hope for the future.

 

ForMemory's June 2012 Learning Event Was Ahead of its Time in Change Needed Today:

Pathways to Hope: Right Foot, Left Foot, Breathe leaves its mark through linked video. View much of the day's events through the following links. Any viewing or sharing is to be for nonprofit purposes only and with proper credit to Luciano, Brazen Videos, Vimeo, forMemory, and the artists and speakers.

 

 

Vimeo Video Links:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outreach, Documentary, and Speakers Bureau

Our primary activity is reaching out to the public to reduce stigma and increase hope for the future. Through the use of curriculum, DVDs, resource materials and a speakers bureau, we provide first-hand training on living well with cognitive changes. Congregations, civic groups, professionals, and the public learn in settings that do not stigmatize. They overcome fear and denial in order to take appropriate steps for wellness, wholeness and healing. Our training instills hope and empowers broader participation and advocacy for early intervention, prevention efforts, environmental health, and minimizing symptoms.

 

Outreach is enhanced by a multi-media project, The Hope of Alzheimer’s: An Advocates Journey. The television production company, Triangle Media Works, has interviewed forMemory members as it is following the three Baum sisters. While preparing for a major documentary, the company has also prepared DVD’s for use by forMemory speakers. These films quickly introduce an audience to real life experience of cognitive changes so that the speaker can go more in depth in discussion with the audience. See www.hopeofalzheimers.com.

 

Our favorite new form of outreach is participation in a memory café or other gathering with individuals who themselves are affected by cognitive changes. The memory café originated in Europe and is slowly building in this country. It focuses on enjoyable and creative experiences that participants plan month to month.

 

On June 28th, 2012 forMemory held its first day long event called, Right Foot, Left Foot, Breathe. Even the dinner was a delightful nutritional workshop. See above for video clips. See Join Us page for testimonials from this and many of our activities.

 

Whatever the setting, nothing seems to move an audience more than to hear directly from a person with cognitive changes who is living a meaningful and enriched life. To enlist a speaker in your area contact Mary Kay Baum at (608)935-5834 or marykbaum@gmail.com.

 

The following is a poem written by forMemory’s founder and Honorary Chair, Chris Baum Van Ryzin. It is the most frequently requested form of training in forMemory’s experience. People learn about changes beyond memory that can include fear, spatial confusion, parkinsonian symptoms, and sensory overload.

 

Ever wonder why I don’t like to take a bath or shower?

 
It is time for my shower. But before I start I go to my husband and tell him I am
going to take a shower.
I never did that before, why now?
I am in the shower. There are so many things to remember:
Controlling the water–which way is hot? How do I make it cooler?
How do I keep the water from drowning me?
And all that water, hitting me . . . like a thousand questions attacking my body . . .
over and over. Distracting. Too fast for my sense of touch! Too fast for my brain!
Soap
Wash cloth
Wet my hair
Shampoo
Rinse
And all that water, hitting me . . . like a thousand questions attacking my body . . .
over and over. Distracting. Too fast for my sense of touch! Too fast
for my brain!
Did I shampoo?
Did I cream rinse?
Do I need to rinse?
And all that water, hitting me . . . like a thousand questions attacking my body . . .
over and over. Distracting. Too fast for my sense of touch! Too fast for my brain!
Don’t hold the razor so hard–it will cut.
Don’t fall.
Am I safe?
And all that water, hitting me . . . like a thousand questions attacking my body . . .
over and over. Distracting. Too fast for my sense of touch! Too fast for my brain! I could not understand why it was getting harder and harder to take a shower or
bath. Until one day when I was in the shower and the phone rang. I reached for the
portable phone. It was my daughter. I was so exhausted from a simple shower that
used to be refreshing–but no longer. I asked her if she ever realized how many parts there are to a simple shower and just how hard it can really be to remember
each one?
And all that water, hitting me . . . like a thousand questions attacking my body . . .
over and over. Distracting. Too fast for my sense of touch! Too fast for my brain!
There came a day, not so very long ago, when I was standing in the shower and was no longer frightened by the water hitting my face! In an instant, I fully understood what had been happening to me. What a great feeling–to once again actually enjoy the feel of water!
No more overload . . .

From a talk by Chris Baum Van Ryzin: “Learn to Listen with Your Heart: Insights into Alzheimer’s Disease from a Person Challenged by Early Onset Alzheimer’s”. It is reprinted in both of the books on the Order Form and is recited by Chris in the Living Well with Cognitive Changes DVD, which is also available through the Order Form.

 

A Midwest summer camp for teens who are connected to someone with cognitive changes

In their last hours at Time for Us camp, youth evaluate and explain what the camp has meant to them. Invariably their comments indicate that each year's camp impacts more youth in important ways.

 

Circling the table are the teens, now a united team. On the outer edges of the room are parents and friends ready to join in a closing ceremony and take them home. We are focused on an evaluation of the week.

From a youth we hear, “We need the program to be more in depth….more information on the brain.”

Wow!

Several others say, “And it needs to be longer… 10 days or more. We are not ready for it to end!”

Can you explain more, be specific?

And then it happens… what we have been watching for and trying to encourage… the trust to share pain and ask for help.

“Well, it’s my dad. Whenever I try to do something with him, we decide on the activity. I go and put it together, bring it to him, and then he no longer wants to do it. I don’t know what to do.”

How that must hurt. We share a better plan. From now on you get the activity together first. Bringing it to your dad you say, “It is time for…”. This way you remove the stress of more decision making. You will be communicating through the activity. Other teens offer other strategies to strengthen father/son relations.

A look of relief crosses his face.

Are you good? We can talk some more.

“I’m good,” with a big smile. He goes home with new hope and understanding.

 

A note received six days later:

Thanks so much for welcoming us into your camp. I learned so much in such little time. Not only that, the methods you taught me, I have already started to use. It makes it a lot easier to get him to play with me if I say, "It is time for..." I never would have known that without you. I hope to see you again next year.

 

Time for Us is a camp for youth ages 10 to 18 with a loved one with neurological challenges or cognitive changes. Our goal is to share an understanding of the changes that have occurred in the youths lives, how to cope with the changes, how communication is possible – just different, how to strengthen relationships, the positive effects of exercise, nutrition and nature, and a message of hope. All of this is wrapped into a fun team approach of giving to each other and to the community. Persons of all faiths and world views are welcome.

 

Thanks came from a Mother's note: … the camp experience is so AMAZING!! …everything the children learned was so very helpful.

 

Another camper admits: Ahhhh. I really was not expecting to have so much fun and learn so much. You and everyone else from Time for Us rock! Thank you so much!

 

Having experienced the rewards of attending Time for Us camp, Jesse was on the edge of his 18thbirthday. He asked for a way to stay connected. We added a Junior Leader component for those teens aging out of the program. As a junior leader, Jesse bridges the age gap between teens and volunteers, especially with the “vocabulary barrier”. He also provides community outreach for the camp in presentations, on video, and in press. He brings hope to many.

 

Melissa had requested more specific information last year while sharing with us, “We were so very close and now it is hard to even talk with my grandmother. How do I get her to understand me? And how do I follow what she is trying to tell me?”

 

So for 2013 we added more to the art of communication. We included non-verbal skills such as touch, expression, shared time, and sharing activities, dance, and music. We added strategies addressing “What I said may not be what your hear. What I hear may not be what you said.”

 

Brianna is 13 year old camper who volunteers at an assisted living home. Leading with the use of an actual wheelchair, she showed the group how she partners with persons in a wheelchair. The youth then took turns approaching with care or sitting in the wheelchair. Insights were gained by all as only a couple of the youth had prior wheelchair experience.

 

Each year forMemory volunteers share additional strategies with the campers. The teens give their feedback and adjustments are made for future years. The resulting “Keeper of Memories” curriculum helps teens with a loved one with cognitive changes (inclusive to all causes). Sections include: Memories, Wellness through Nature, Healthy Nutrition, The Brain, Art of Communication, Growing as a Teen, and Understanding Changes. The curriculum is being made available for purchase through forMemory, Inc. Contact Chris Van Ryzin at cbvanryzin@gmail.com or (920)734-9638.

 

The camp is hosted at an accredited camp with full-time professional staff. Volunteers from forMemory plan and lead the specialized curriculum.

 

Time for Us benefits by the support of the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, Lutherdale Adventure Camp, Siebert Lutheran Foundation, Wheat Ridge Ministries, and generous donors and volunteers.

 

The outcomes of Time for Us youth camp far outweigh the investment of time and funds. The youth who partner in the care of a loved one deserve understanding, education, recognition and respect. Please join us in finding, reaching, and supporting as many youth as possible… so they may become survivors, too.

Thank you.

 

Articles about Time for US youth camp:

care ADvantage Article

Wheat Ridge Article

 

Now a new thing is happening. Some Time for Us activities are on the road to build hope and understanding within our communities. Interactive sessions are now being scheduled for civic clubs, community groups, congregations, neighborhood centers, staff training events, and any group of adults and teens. A typical session lasts 90 minutes and includes the perspectives of youth. Contact Mary Kay Baum at marykbaum@gmail.com or (608)935-5834.

“Thank You!”

We are youth, who have a loved one experiencing cognitive changes, attending a specialty camp which brings a program of hope to us through a partnership of Lutherdale, forMemory, and the Alzheimer & Dementia Alliance of WI.

 

A small part of Lutherdale… Making A huge impact on our lives!

 

Thank you

 

Time for Us Youth

 

forMemory is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with IRS tax exempt certification For more information on how to receive a tax-deductible receipt for your gift contact forMemory's treasurer, Rosann Milius at drmilius@sbcglobal.net or call (920)231-9237. Disclaimer

forMemory.org website was designed and updated by Jake Swamp