Diane and Don
Bethany’s Music Therapy program is 100% funded by donations to Bethany Care Foundation. Diane and Don have been married for 50 years. Together they built a life full of the typical ups and downs that all families face. There were times of laughter, sadness, excitement, hope and love; a lifetime of memories, all coming together to form their unique story. Now, dementia has stolen most of the rich memories that made Diane the person she was. Nothing has taken away the love that Don and Diane’s family have for her, though, and Bethany has become a vital partner in their care of Diane and support of each other. Don wrote a note to accompany his 2017 Sensory Therapies donation in which he outlines just how meaningful the effects of programs like music therapy can be:
“…music can provide immeasurable positive experiences to almost every person in care. There is no other activity that can universally and unequivocally contribute so fundamentally to those basic needs for stimulations. I have the beautiful experience of sharing the program enabled by funds raised in this campaign with Diane, and hand dancing with her to the live music. This is the only recreational experience left to us, in which we can communicate in a meaningful manner. Observing responses she and all the residents demonstrate, as well as those of the family members and caregivers who participate in these heaven sent events, is a mind altering experience. Seeing the light return (even temporarily), to their eyes, watching them recognize and sometimes remember the words, and realizing that those words and memories bring them joy.”
Rev. Kathy R. Spate
Previous Manager, Spirituality and Pastoral Care Bethany Calgary
Bethany’s Pastoral Care program is 100% funded by donations to Bethany Care Foundation. “Memory loss, difficulty with thinking, problem solving, judgment and the ability to perform everyday activities are some of the symptoms experienced when one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Laura has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Laura is a resident in long term care, and I am her Chaplain. I walk with Laura as she takes me on a journey, a trip down the hallway. To her it is a trip to Edmonton. Along the way there are memories to be shared; people Laura knew, places Laura worked at, lived in, and shopped at. I listen to amazing stories that make sense only to Laura as she laughs, raises her voice in delight, or shakes her head in disgust. I am caught up in her renewed joy from the past. In the meantime we need to overcome numerous obstacles on our walk. To me they are carts, wheelchairs and tables. To Laura they are family members and friends she must introduce me to, a rough path we must cross over, and heavy traffic to navigate before arriving safely, in Edmonton. We both exclaim how weary we are when we do arrive but also how much fun it was to go on this journey together.
As Laura and I walk and talk on this afternoon, we overcome obstacles along the way, problem solve and share past joys. And it all takes place as we journey down a hallway, together. “