SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and one local center has just been recognized for their care.
“How do we help people develop an alternate meaning for what Alzheimer’s is?” asked Judith Huober, director of Syracuse Jewish Family Service at Menorah Park.
The center is the leading Central New York care facility for individuals suffering from dementia.
November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, but Judith tries to spread awareness every day.
“What you think it means will drive your awareness,” she said.
At Menorah Park, they want to change the treatment of people with memory loss.
She helps the residents create art with painting classes. Once the paintings are finished, the whole group comes together and helps write poetry to represent the art.
“Creativity can build and peak in later life. we are looking at visual art and poetry,” she said.
People love looking at their art and socializing with the other individuals, she said.
But the best part is that creating and learning help to activate neurotransmitters.
Practicing art has been shown to help keep your brain active, but you don’t need to participate if you don’t want to. They have other ways to keep people engaged.
“If you go to the Terrace you’ll find Tiki, who is the quaker parrot for emotional support.”
The Terrace is a memory care facility within the center that just won the “dementia care program of distinction” excellence award by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
They have numerous emotional support pets, host fun activity nights, and make sure everyone gets the support that they need.
“We are providing the best care that the data shows for right now for the dementia, for Alzheimer’s. You always learn something new every day – but to apply that and make their lives a little better, that’s what it’s about,” said Dann.
“So we’ve changed the meaning of dementia right there by giving somebody an experience that they think is just human,” said Huober.