Assisted Living

There some unique challenges to working with the Assisted Living population.  Either the person is memory impaired in some way, physically impaired or both.  In many cases, they would like to write but don’t have the physical/mental capability anymore.  In some cases, they can write but when they’re finished nobody, including themselves can read it.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to stretch your wings in the world of collaboration.  Put out the word in your poetic community that you need scribes to help you with this class.  All they have to do, is come when the class is scheduled and sit with one resident and write down whatever they say.  If that option isn’t working, visit a local high school and see if they’d be interested in having English students volunteer to be scribes.

The other complication with this population is you need to serve as the archive person for the work.  If you send off the writing with the residents, they will probably misplace it somewhere.  So, be sure and get everyone’s name on their work and collect them at the end of the class.  You can keep folders with each resident’s name as hard copy, or if you’re really ambitions, type them up after each class and email them to the activity director.  When we do this, they are very appreciative and we’ve actually had some of the pieces put on the facitily newsletter/calendar that comes out each month.

We’ll add to this list as further classes are written:

Food

Birthdays

Collaborative Poems

Your Mother’s Kitchen

Map Your Childhood (may be too advanced for memory impaired residents)

Secrets

I Wish — Christmas Class

Quiet

I Never Told Anybody

Remember the Day JFK was Shot

Changes with Age

Rain

Letter to an Old Friend

Simultaneous Events

Lies

Feelings/Colors/Spices

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