6975 Graphics Way | Lewis Center, OH 43035

Festival of Trees at Capri Gardens

December 11, 2019
Our Activities Director, Lisa Rees, has a passion for working with people with dementia. She lived through the disease process while taking care of her mom with dementia for nine years. As a result of being a caregiver, she changed her occupation. She decided to share her skills with residents in a nursing home setting to provide individualized care and help them maintain their quality of life for as long as possible. She loves to be creative and think outside of the box! When Lisa received the challenge to have the best Christmas decorations in the company, she instantly thought about going down a walk through memory lane and creating our memory trees. She said, "I came up with the idea because I see a lot of seniors responding to talk of the old days - what they did when they were young, where they lived, what they did for an occupation. So I thought, let's do a festival of the trees to remind them of the year they were born and what they lived through." Since we have put up the trees, we have noticed a stronger bond between our residents and their families. They can reminisce and share stories with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren while looking at the trees.

The holidays with people who have dementia or other forms of memory loss can be a wonderful yet scary time. Changes in decorations, crowds of people, flashing lights, and conversations that may seem to rush past them can be very frustrating. Memory loss can be a scary thing, which is why these memory trees are so beautiful. Just like we can look at a picture or an old toy and reminisce about various stories, these memory trees allow people who suffer from memory loss or dementia to reminisce about their memories. A lot of old toys and decorations are lost to us through the years, and the ability to recall long term memories that remain in our brains can diminish as the ability to sequence and recall spontaneously diminishes. These memory trees evoke those old memories for people to reminisce and allows young people to learn new things about the past. It can be difficult to recall a specific word or event, like a 'tip of the tongue' phenomenon, for people with memory loss. As they circle the trees, point out old toys or commercials they may have seen or had, and pull stories out of their long term memory, it provides both comfort in reminiscing and the joy of sharing information they don't struggle to put together. It helps them to enjoy the comfort of the familiar holidays, instead of the hustle and bustle of the unfamiliar.

Sarah Hill, our Therapy Program Manager, said, "The memory trees have been very therapeutic for our therapy department as well. We walk past them and engage in memory tasks and reminiscing. But more importantly, our residents are our treasures. Giving them this opportunity to reminisce and teach us about their memories is so valuable." We are so proud to be part of the Foundations family, as this type of activity truly embodies what we can achieve through our Culture of Care.

All are invited to come to the facility to check out these captivating decorations in person! We are hosting our first annual Festival of Trees this Thursday, December 12th, from 6:30-8:30 PM. The Festival will include:
  • Desserts & Pastries
  • Live Music Entertainment
  • Live Nativity Scene
  • Christmas Carolers
  • Visit from Santa Claus

We would love to invite our families and Lewis Center community to our nursing home for a beautiful tour of the Christmas decor at Capri Gardens.

Check out the flyer:

Capri Gardens

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