Thank you to “100 Women Who Care” for donating over $15,000 to support Minds in Motion in Guelph.
What is Minds in Motion? Minds in Motion is a program that incorporates physical and mental stimulation for people living with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, and their care partners. Two main components make up the social program. 45 to 60 minutes of physical activity led by a trained physical activity program leader and 45 to 60 minutes of mentally stimulating activities facilitated by a Minds in Motion coordinator and volunteers.
The two hour program is a great opportunity to establish new friendships with others who are living with the same experiences. People can be seen for who they are, not someone with dementia. People are in a truly safe environment where they will not be singled out, made fun of, stared at or ridiculed in any way for having a strange behaviour, saying something out of place or not being able to follow the moves. They are in a truly accepting environment where they are free to be who they are. This is a critical step in having people access programming.
What is the benefit of the program? Combining physical, mental and social stimulation can decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and may slow the disease progression. For the person with dementia, Minds in Motion can improve balance, mobility, flexibility, alertness and can lead to an increased sense of confidence. For the care partner, the program is an opportunity to focus on their own health, and to find support from other care partners. And for both the person with dementia and their care partner, Minds in Motion provides an enjoyable activity that can reduce their sense of isolation.
Your support will provide 66 people with 24 weeks of programming. This is a phenomenal impact for our community. You are providing an inclusive program where people can thrive.
Minds in Motion is a province wide program that has been extensively evaluated. Here are some interesting results:
- 96% of participants report they enjoy the program
- 99% report that they felt they were treated with respect while participating in Minds in Motion
- 98% felt they were listened to during the program
- 95% of participants enjoyed the physical activity
- 91% enjoyed the therapeutic part of the program
- 97% felt the program facilitators did a good job
- 95% would recommend Minds in Motion to others
- On average, participants endurance improved by 20% and strength by 15%
- 90% of recreation centre staff and program volunteers identify an increase in their knowledge related to older adults and dementia
I would like to welcome Thayna Walter, Coordinator of Minds in Motion, to share some personal client stories.
I am pleased to be able to say a few words about the Minds in Motion program. This is the fourth time I have been participated in the program and I am so pleased I have had the opportunity to be part of the program again!
I am not an expert on dementia but I have been living with it, and am always looking for a way to live my life as normal as possible. When we heard that the Alzheimer Society was presenting a program designed for persons with memory problems, I remember saying “that’s for me”! The mind portion would keep my mind busy and the motion portion would keep my blood circulating. From the reading I have done, I understand that keeping the blood flowing through the brain and being social is an excellent way to keep the brain agile. These are two things that could possibly help – how can you go wrong!
I remember the first time we went to Minds in Motion and being really excited to find out that it was not only okay, but important to really set the bar high for physical exercise with people with dementia…. not demanding it, but inviting it.
I was such a relief to be socializing with other couples who were facing the same thing. There was no worry about others feeling uncomfortable in a social setting with us as a couple (as so many of our friends did at that point). That was one of the most difficult things to experience as our friends gradually got used to my husband’s dementia and we all got used to not being able to be together in the same social settings that we had always taken for granted. It was such a joy to have fun together as a couple again with other couples.
Meeting other families living with dementia has led to some very deep and mutually supportive friendships as couples and as care partners. I have been meeting with the same group of women privately every two weeks for a couple of years now. It is extremely important to us and every time we think maybe we don’t need to do this, so often a crisis happens to one of us and we reach out for support. The Alzheimer Society is instrumental in helping people connect with each other because they support us in such a healthy way.
I think that finally I want to say that being involved in such a group which focuses on a positive way of living life as fully as we can gives us hope, not maybe over the final outcome, but definitely on the journey being manageable and even often enjoyable.