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Time to make connections meaningful

At Residential Plaza’s Memory Care Program, we implement the Montessori Program for Dementia to improve the lives of our residents. We work under Jennifer Brush’s mentorship, a leading expert in the subject.

In this month’s Brush Development newsletter, Jennifer Brush shared great information that we wanted to pass along to you.

“During this extraordinary time of year, I am grateful for all of the truly amazing people with whom I have had the honor to work over the past twelve months. People who are dedicated to improving the lives of elders; are family or professional care partners, researchers, writers, teachers, and students. I feel blessed to work with many care communities that want to continue to improve the way they deliver person-centered care.

When I think about what I enjoy most about my work, the first thing that comes to mind is a connection. I have the good fortune to have the opportunity to connect on an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level with families, healthcare professionals, and people with dementia. I learn and grow through these connections as they shape and enrich my life. People with dementia struggle to maintain their ties to the past, their personhood, and others. However, the ability to connect through love doesn’t change because someone has dementia. I value the moments when I can sit quietly and connect with another person and acknowledge their personhood,” said Jennifer Brush.

In this month’s newsletter, Jennifer Brush talks about connections and shares a great tool to make connections and stay connected to our loved ones, Stories for Older Adults™.


Stories for Older Adults™ 

Stories for Older Adults™ are written to empower individuals with dementia to participate in a meaningful shared reading experience.

There are several features to the stories that facilitate reading for those with dementia. The large-print text is predictably on the left side each time, with the full-page color illustration on the right. The pictures are simple and uncluttered and directly support the interpretation of the text. Colors are bold and contrasting for those with low vision. There are pauses throughout the story in the form of short questions to prompt conversation and reflection, and to set a comfortable pace. The size of the book and the weight and type of paper used have been calculated to prompt easy viewing and handling.

Also, our stories incorporate intergenerational themes and characters to bring older adults and younger family members together as reading partners.


Suggested Uses for Stories for Older Adults

Small group read aloud

A person with dementia can read the story to a small group of peers and present the question at the end of each page for group discussion.

One-on-one reading and conversation

A family member or care partner can read the story aloud to a person with dementia and use the questions to reminisce or inspire discussion.

Intergenerational reading

The stories follow an intergenerational theme to interest both older adults and children. A person with dementia can read to a child or with a child and experience the positive effects of interaction with children.

Independent reading

A person with dementia can read the story alone, either silently or aloud. Most enjoy reading aloud.


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