Dementia and Doing What You Once Did: Lady-Links Can Help

Do you surprise yourself with things you still are able to do?

Dancing to Perry Como.

Dancing to Perry Como.

I found that to be true just last year when I went to an exhibit of World War II aircraft at the Frontiers of Flight Museum with some of my family, including an eight year-old grandson who describes those aircraft as “his passion.”

Jack and Book

He was so excited to see the big bombers, the B-17, B-24 and the B-25.  The public was allowed to go inside two of them, the B-17 and the B-24. Grandson Jack wanted me to go with him but one look at how we would have to climb a ladder and then crawl through some tight spaces made me hesitant.

Plane entrance

As a child, I was very athletic and coordinated.  Yet somewhere along the way, I had stopped doing those types of physical activities.  My mind jumped back to the time when I was in first grade when I was the first girl in my class to make it all away across the monkey bars.  Now I’m not suggesting that I attempt to cross the monkey bars at my age, but surely I could climb a ladder couldn’t I?

Jack’s voice brought me out of that memory as I heard him say, “Come on Grammie.  You can do it!”  And guess what?  I did!  It wasn’t easy, but I handled the physical challenges and surprised myself with what I accomplished.

Plane walkway

Plane guns

Sometimes we don’t do things simply because we haven’t done them in a while.  That’s the way it with the sweet dear friends we visit.  Just because they haven’t been actively engaged recently in a social setting doing something they used to enjoy doesn’t mean they can’t.

Scrabble players 1

That’s where the Lady-Links help.  Just like Jack with me, the Lady-Links help our friends with dementia reconnect with something from their past, engaging in activities they once enjoyed.


Music smiles

We don’t attempt to teach “new” things.  What we do and do so well is provide opportunities and encouragement to socialize with each other, just like we did when we were girls. We find out what our dear friends used to do before their diagnosis,  and then we provide the encouragement and modifications to help them continue to enjoy that activity.  The families of our dear friends tell us that their loved one with dementia seems like a different person when the Lady-Links visit because they become more alert, more alive and more active.

Music group with leader

Jack loved that day with the airplanes and I did too.  Had I focused on what I couldn’t do, I would have missed what I could do!  Just because something looms large in comparison to what’s around you, don’t give up.  You may find you’ve still got what it takes!

Plane tire


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