Each week, the new DCG (dementia-caregiver) Living Hx (history) Mobile Museum and School travels from Topsfield Rest.Stop.Ranch Caretaker’s Cottage to Concord, NH’s Havenwood Heritage Heights’ campuses “Havenwood” (serving independent, home-care, assisted living, and skilled nursing residents) and “Heritage Heights,” (serving independent residents and those receiving home-care).
Each month, a new interactive exhibit featuring an artifact from a real dementia-caregiver’s journey, invites dementia caregivers to share common themes and stories on paper and around the exhibit table. These topics, frequently hidden, are broken open for fresh and honest discussion, that is then brought into the sharing small group circle. Each exhibit promotes bringing group awareness, witness, and sharing around a challenging universal dementia-care topic, and also supports discussion of healthy coping approaches.
This month, February, the topic is “Love, Marriage, and Family Dynamics.” The interactive exhibit is 3 Wedding Dresses.
Last month, January, the topic was “Planning Goals and Dreams.” The interactive exhibit was a 2-Year Planning Calendar (wall-hanging).
My early observations of this new activity, is that the creation of the DCG Living Hx Museum and School is inviting more voices than my own to witness and record the dementia-caregiver experience. It’s promise and hope is to become an expressive therapeutic outlet that offers education, validation, humor, and healing to:
1. The general public
2. Dementia caregivers before a diagnosis
3. Dementia caregivers after a diagnosis
4. Survivors of a dementia-caregiving experience
Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,