PrimeLife offers free Friday programs for those with dementia, caregivers

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A Carmel-based organization has taken steps to address the needs of a growing population in Hamilton County: dementia patients.

Last month, PrimeLife Enrichment, an organization that offers education, fitness and social opportunities to aging county residents, unveiled free Friday programs to assist those struggling with memory loss and dementia.

Handy

“On the medical side, memory loss and dementia patients have what they need, but what they’re not getting is the help of how to handle it at home,” said Linda Handy, executive director of PrimeLife Enrichment. “The whole idea is to come up with ways to help the caregiver and the individual to see that the life isn’t over just because they’ve been diagnosed.”

The first Friday of each month will feature a music-related activity, led by Dr. Tim Brimmer of Sound Minds and Butler University, who will demonstrate the importance of music with regard to an individual’s mood and memory. On the second Friday of the month, guests will take part in memory and brainteaser activities, like bingo, trivia and games, to help them retain and recall numbers and letters. On the third Friday, participants will complete art projects, and on the fourth Friday, PrimeLife Enrichment will welcome guests to speak on a variety of mood and memory topics.

“The whole idea is to help the person that’s been diagnosed with dementia and help the caregiver by bringing them out and having a place to go where they’re welcome and having activities that help them with it,” Handy said. “For example, at our art program, as they’re coloring, it triggers memories. When they’re done, they get to share those memories, to tell a story, to be acknowledged.”

Each Friday following the scheduled activities, there will be a bonus activity with the Song Shape Chorus, comprised of dementia patients and their caregivers. The group is set to perform this month.

Each week’s activities will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a free lunch, followed by the program at noon. All Friday activities are free and conducted at PrimeLife Enrichment at 1078 Third Ave. S.W. For more, visit primelifeenrichment.org.

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