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March 8, 2024

HERstory: Honoring the Journey of Individuals Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Kaitlynn Holley, Memory Care Director

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 Vitalia Stow, 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.

Rose P. immigrated to America from Italy when she was 16, accompanied by her widowed mother. Shortly after coming from Italy, Rose’s mom took over a family-owned pizza shop. Rose helped and managed the business. She talks very fondly about the time they spent together making pizza.

Large family gathering outside, including Rose, captured in a joyful moment.

Rose entered into marriage in 1957 and tragically became a widow herself in 1987. She focused on raising her children; her passion was her family and making a home. Rose was always willing to help and extend hospitality to others. There were many times that Rose welcomed extended family into her home to stay when they needed help.

Rose does everything from the heart and is a perfectionist in all she does, from cooking, baking, canning, gardening, homemaking, and sewing. Cooking from scratch and feeding her family and friends brings her joy. Her grandkids enjoy cooking because of their Nonni’s example.

She serves selflessly and is always there for her family and friends. Rose surmounted numerous challenges in life, crediting her ability to overcome them to the strength she received from God’s grace. She is full of stories about her life, especially in Italy, and she loves sharing her stories with others.

An older woman, Rose, sits in a chair, smiling warmly. She wears a gray and white striped long sleeve shirt with a blue and yellow scarf around her neck.

Rose taught her children about life and hard work, going the extra mile and doing things right the first time, being dedicated to family, and deeply appreciating heritage.

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.

VITALIA® Stow in Stow, OH offers senior villas, independent apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include 1804 Restaurant, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Conveniently located just off of Hwy 8 at E Steels Corners Road near Akron General Health & Wellness Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Fox Den Golf Course, Summit Mall, Bike & Hike – Summit Metro Parks, Stan Hywet, Hale Farm, and Blossom Music Center.

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