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March 8, 2024

HERstory: Honoring the Journey of Individuals Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Elizabeth Thompson, Regional Director of Memory Care

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 Parkway 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.

Joan T. was born in Yates Center, KS, and raised on her family’s farm. She married her high school sweetheart, Norman, in April 1956. After several moves, due to Norman’s job, they finally settled in Oak Grove, MO where they raised their three children.

A charming image of Joan in a group photo with holiday decor and has a cheerful expression.

Joan worked in the medical field in a physician’s office for most of her adult life. Everyone in the small community knew her. Joan was an avid golfer who enjoyed golfing with her girlfriends and taking couples’ golf trips with their husbands. She won the Ladies Championship in her division several times.

She is a proud grandmother of three and would babysit at any chance she was given. They kept her active with all their sporting events, and grandkids always knew there was a home-cooked snack and a hug every time they stopped by. Her fried chicken with country gravy and mashed potatoes was a favorite Sunday staple.

Joan loved traveling and has been to New York, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Las Vegas, and California. On an early trip to California, she went to the Lawrence Welk Show, and was invited on stage to dance with Mr. Welk. 

Joan is wearing a long-sleeved white turtleneck and sitting at a table with folded hands in The Parkway Senior Living.

Her last trip to California was with her sister, Jeanie. They visited Napa Valley and some of the best wineries in the world. 

After Norman passed in 2018, Joan sold their family home and settled into an Arrow Senior Living community. She has met many new friends and enjoys all the group events and outings.

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 Parkway Senior Living in Blue Springs, MO offers senior villas, 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 St. Mary’s Medical Center and St. Luke’s Eastwith convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Adams Point Golf Course, KC Royals Stadum, KC Chiefs Stadium, Sporting KC, KC Comets, KC Mavericks, Adams Dairy Landing, and Blue Springs Parks, Trails, and Lakes .

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