Leading their own life: Marylanders with dementia

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The Brighter Side
The Brighter Side

Remaining social can be a struggle for residents who are grappling with dementia, but one senior-care provider may have found a way to alleviate it.

Copper Ridge in Skyesville, MD, an assisted living and rehab center, has been hosting social clubs for about a year for those suffering from the brain condition. There, residents can do everything from dance to live music, to learn how to drum or paint pictures of dandelions, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The idea is to put those suffering from dementia into a more relaxed setting than group therapy or individual counseling, allowing them to socialize without the pressure of remembering names or dates.

Social club gatherings happen on the second Tuesday of every month, with about 25 participants, and the idea seems to be catching on in other parts of Maryland, which has an estimated 100,000 residents suffering from dementia, according to the newspaper.

“It is really about people not being defined by their dementia and wanting to have meaningful living,” Cindy Yingling, vice president of neurocognitive clinic operations and development at Intergrace Copper Ridge, said in the story.

The facility was able to kick off its club with the help of a $5,000 grant from the Greater Maryland Alzheimer's Association. It's proved so popular, however, that with the money spent, it has incorporated those dollars into its annual budget, according to the newspaper.