The Fox Valley Memory Project

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Memory Project

Contributor: Betty Lefebvre-Hill, Fox Valley Memory Project Program Coordinator

In 2014, United Way Fox Cities awarded a total of $540,000 in grants to five local projects. A $90,000 grant went to The Fox Valley Memory Project to make the quality of life measurably better for those with dementia. Below, Betty Lefebvre, Program Coordinator at The Fox Valley Memory Project, sheds some light on one of the ways your investment in United Way Fox Cities makes an impact in our community...

The Fox Valley Memory Project collaborates with area organizations to offer programs and services that improve the quality of life for persons experiencing dementia, as well as their family care partners and friends in our community.

Our offerings include Memory Cafés in seven locations throughout the Fox Valley and beyond. These cafés provide a warm, welcoming social outlet for those with memory loss and their care partners. They are creative, informative, engaging and fun! We offer quarterly bus trips and other special opportunities. Our "On a Positive Note" chorus group continues to practice regularly and they perform for community

celebrations and events. Our Memory Loss Resource Center is the place to go for information, referral, assistance, and ongoing support for those dealing with dementia. The Resource Center hosts a monthly Activity Group for persons with dementia and an Older Hmong Memory Enhancement and chanting group, in addition to Roundtable Education/Discussion groups. The Memory Loss Assessment Center staff at Mosaic Family Health in downtown Appleton, screen for memory impairment, assess overall health and, if warranted, proceed to a more comprehensive evaluation to diagnose the cause/type of dementia. We will soon include a new service for those caring for persons with significant memory loss, In-Home Caregiver Support Coaching.

Workplace Enrichment, Community Education, and Research continue to be important components of our project. We've trained staff from twelve long-term care facilities in methods to creatively engage those experiencing dementia within their facilities through storytelling, poetry and drumming techniques. The Purple Angel Project has reached over 60 area businesses and organizations to train their staff to respond with consideration and helpfulness to customers who may be struggling. We are creating a new awareness, compassion and acceptance of those we love, in our midst, and the movement continues to expand.

It's an exciting program to be a part of and, very best part of it all, is the opportunity to work with responsive and visionary leaders, volunteers and of course, our most precious and amazing participants, who graciously endure their life circumstances and are willing to share with us and teach us along the way.

To learn more about the Fox Valley Memory Project and how you can get involved, visit www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org.