“Awakening” : finding meaning in the face of memory loss

Dementia steals memory, but it also steals pleasure and meaning from relationships and activities of daily life. For example, a golfer might find himself unable to remember the rules of golf, which ends his weekly golf game with his friends, causing social isolation, then loneliness and boredom. An busy grandmother might find herself unable to remember how to use the stove, which ends cooking for her family, denying her the pleasure of cooking and the meaningful activity of caring for others.

So often individuals and their caregivers ask me how to deal with the loneliness and boredom of dementia. They try to get involved in volunteering or exercise but find they are not able to participate in many activities due to their memory loss, and they become frustrated and discouraged. Caregivers are frustrated because they are trying to balance independence (driving, cooking, etc) with safety (getting lost, leaving stove on, etc).

Happily, there is a new nonprofit organization in the Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill area which seeks to remedy this problem. Guiding Lights* has launched a new program called “Awakening”** which creates an individualized action plan to improve activity level, pleasure, and sense of meaning for an individual with memory loss. The consultation with Julie is free and held at the Guiding Lights office, which is a wonderful resource for anyone dealing with memory loss or dementia. Check it out and let me know what you think!

* For more information, see www.guidinglightsnc.org or contact Executive Director Nicole Bruno 919-371-2062 
** For more information, see www.guidinglightsnc.org/GuidingLights/Awakening.html or contact Julie Falconer, RN 919-371-2062

Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill3

Author
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why Wellness?

We are so excited to share with you our self-paced, online wellness program! Learn more from Dr Byrne about this program and how CPCH wellness can help you achieve your mental health goals! www.cpchwellness.thinkific.com

Meet Jessica Booth - CPCH psychotherapist

We are excited to welcome Jessica Booth, LMFT, LCAS-A as our newest provider! Jessica is a full-time integrated CPCH team member who focuses on helping patients individually, as a couple, as a family, or in support groups. Please welcome Jessica!

How to find contentment in your daily life

Therapist Jessica Booth provides a brief introduction on how to find contentment in daily life and feed your spirit! Try these tips to feel more present and rejuvenated in your every day life.

Video Blog - What is TMS?

In this video blog, Dr Byrne talks with Dr Hernandez about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Learn more about this non-medication treatment option for depression!

Video Blog - What is Alpha-Stim

In this video blog, Dr Byrne talks with Pat Boyle about Alpha-Stim, a device that can help people with depression, anxiety, and insomnia.