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March 8, 2024

HERstory: Honoring the Journey of Individuals Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Kellie Duran, Memory Care Director

Women’s History Month

HERstory serves as a tribute to the unique journey, experiences, and contributions of an individual living with dementia. Each HERstory carries a rich past of memories, relationships, and accomplishments that define their identity. As dementia progresses, memories begin to fade. Preserving and sharing these narratives become invaluable in honoring the person affected and maintaining their dignity. At The Princeton Senior Living, we believe in acknowledging and celebrating each individual’s life story. Through this approach, we affirm the inherent worth and complexity of those living with dementia. It allows us to transcend the limitations imposed by their condition.

Through storytelling, we bridge the gap between the past and the present. This fosters meaningful interactions and cultivates a sense of belonging for individuals living with dementia. By embracing their narratives with empathy and compassion, we counteract stigma, dispel misconceptions, and promote a culture of inclusivity and respect for individuals affected by dementia.

Below is a HERstory about one of the residents living in our Memory Care Neighborhood.

Evelyn H. was born in Seward, NE, in March 1936, one of three girls. As a teenager, she worked at the swimming pool as a lifeguard. Evelyn was set up on a blind date with a young man named Don. At age 18, she married Don, and they moved to Lincoln, NE, where he went to work for Goodyear Tires.

An old family photo: a man, a woman, and two children posing together. Evelyn is also present in the picture.

In 1954, Evelyn gave birth to their first child and welcomed their last child in 1961. Once her youngest daughter went to grade school, Evelyn started working as a Cafeteria Manager at a local school in Lincoln.

She decided after her youngest graduated high school, she would quit working and stay home again. Once her husband Don retired, the couple began living their lives! They bought a home in Arizona and a cabin in the Colorado mountains. Don and Evelyn also purchased a fifth-wheel camper to drive and travel around the United States. The pair went on many different cruises. Their favorite was through the Panama Canal. They would always visit Disney World when they went to Florida to see Evelyn’s sister.

Evelyn, a cheerful older woman wearing a white button-up blouse, sits with a warm smile, radiating kindness and contentment.

Evelyn always says she is not afraid to try something once. Her biggest hobby was crocheting. Evelyn will tell you she lived a very good life and was fortunate to have seen and done so many things.

Sharing the life story of someone living with dementia is not just an act of preserving memories; it’s an embodiment of compassion, understanding, and respect. By embracing their past, we honor their journey and provide valuable insights into who they are beyond the constraints of their condition through HERstory.

The Princeton Senior Living in Lee's Summit, MO offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Lees Summit Medical Center and St. Lukes East with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Shamrock Hills Golf Club, Fred Arbanas Golf Course, Summit Fair Shopping, Summit Woods Crossing, Legacy Park StoneHaus Farms Winery, James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife, StoneHaus Winery, and Longview Lake.

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