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Bookworm Gardens Helps People with Dementia Enjoy the Moment


Watch residents at Azura Memory Care of Sheboygan get ‘Inspired’ as they participate in Bookworm Gardens’ pilot program called Inspire. Inspire is designed for individuals with early to mid-stage memory loss, as well as their caregivers.


The resident of Azura Memory Care of Sheboygan were featured on the front page of The Sheboygan Press after a visit to Bookworm Gardens. Here are excerpts from the article:

This fall, Bookworm Gardens piloted a program, called Inspire, for adults with early- to mid-stage memory loss, as well as their caregivers.

“The whole idea behind Inspire is to give them a chance to do something different together but get away from the idea of the regular routine,” said Susan Sellars, program specialist.

Bookworm Gardens received funding to start the Inspire program through a grant from The Helen Bader Foundation.  Bookworm Gardens provides the perfect setting for individuals and their caregivers to come and share a positive experience together, focusing on the moment in front of them, said Mosher.  “That ability to recall things from their short-term memory doesn’t physically exist anymore because of Alzheimer’s,” Mosher said. “So we want to focus on those abilities that exist and help them find joy in the moment and evoke those memories that still exist.”

On Wednesday morning, for example, residents from Azura Memory Care of Sheboygan with various stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia participated in a

Ken Lubbers, a resident at Azura Memory Care in Sheboygan, stopped to identify a mint plant by its smell at Bookworm Gardens. / Kali Thiel/Sheboygan Press Media

Ken Lubbers, a resident at Azura Memory Care in Sheboygan, stopped to identify a mint plant by its smell at Bookworm Gardens. / Kali Thiel/Sheboygan Press Media

session geared toward music, called “Muses of Musical Moments.”  Due to the cooler weather, participants started out inside the Hansel and Gretel Learning Cottage at the Gardens where they listened to a story being read and were given musical instruments, such as clackers, shakers or bells in order to mimic the sounds in the story.   They then visited the Creative Expression garden, which contains musical instruments, to create their own unique tunes. And they ended their session back in the cottage with some therapeutic music performed by guest programmer Kyane Howland, also known as “The Singing Nurse.”

Music, movement and artwork are some of the most powerful tools for evoking memories, said Azura Memory Care’s Quality of Life Coordinator Lindsay Scholz, who accompanied Azura residents.  “It taps into their memory and allows them to remember maybe the musical instruments they used when they were younger,” Scholz said of the session. “It taps into their sense of music and puts a smile on their face. Gets them out and about and just to see the beautiful garden.”

Read the complete article at http://www.sheboyganpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013310250353&nclick_check=1

One Comment

  1. Dana Goetz-
    October 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    This sounds wonderful! When my mom was in a nursing home due to Alzheimers, I would visit with her and her new friends & they’d always ask me to sing “You are my Sunshine” and “When Irish Eyes are Shining” …. etc and they’d all chime in…. lots of smiles

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