For those who may not be particularly familiar(welcome!), our Residential Care Homes specialize in dementia. On my journey at English Rose Suites and b♦home Home Care so far, I’ve learned there are some pretty amazing moments in life that even dementia can’t take away. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been pretty lucky to have the opportunity to accompany our residents on some outings. I love having the opportunity to sneak some time in getting to know our Resident’s.
Last week while working on a project in one of our Edina homes, Joslyn, a Caregiver came down and grabbed a sack of apples from the pantry. Kathy, English Rose Suites Team Mentor and Joslyn told us that Irene was going to be making apple pie. And let me tell you, I was definitely working in the right location that day! Clearly, this was an activity that brings Irene a great deal of joy.
Irene baked a gorgeous apple pie, all from memory. Joslyn told me that while they were baking, Irene told her one of her favorite things to do while making her pies was to make them with her special double crust. And her secret was to add extra sugar and cinnamon and very little butter. That apple pie was simply amazing! One of our team members, Vicki Martini, Vice President of Operations and Marketing, who is a wonderful cook/chef commented that Irene’s pie was the best apple pie she had ever tasted.
Moments like we experienced last week are a great source of joy for everyone involved. Watching Irene light up at something that clearly makes her so happy and of course us being able to indulge in her creations! 😉 But what is also amazing is her memory. Irene’s ability to recall exactly how to make her delicious pies, despite dementia, is a part of her long term procedural memory. Our Procedural memories allow us to remember how to do certain things like riding a bike, tying your shoes, baking a pie. Procedural memory guides the processes we perform and not frequently resides below the level of conscious awareness.
This blog was written by Lizzie Regnier, Administrative assistant (with some dementia fact checking by Jayne Clairmont 🙂 ) with as much love as Irene’s beautiful talents that include making the best apple pie, who taught me that happiness is homemade, truly.