Kathleen reminisced about the activities she and her husband, Jerry, enjoyed earlier in their marriage – square dancing, camping, socializing with family and friends.
“There was nothing Jerry couldn’t fix or build with his hands,” Kathleen said, describing the motor home he built for their camping excursions. Other campers often stopped by to admire his workmanship.
Jerry was diagnosed with early onset dementia when he was just 64 years old. During the eight years since that diagnosis, his need for supportive care has increased steadily. Jerry continues to live at home with Kathleen, who works full-time, and their son, an antiques dealer.
In 2012, with the encouragement of friends and family, Kathleen and Jerry toured the Curative Senior Care Center in Waukesha. He remained at the Center for the day to see if he liked it, and they decided that Curative’s program was a good fit for their needs.
Jerry is able to engage in community life outside of the home with the support of Curative staff. Kathleen is able to focus on her work responsibilities or take time for herself, knowing that Jerry is receiving the support he needs from Curative’s experienced dementia-care staff.
Kathleen and the Curative staff have identified goals for Jerry that support his health, offer opportunities for socialization and help him remain physically and cognitively active. Staff provide cues and assistance when necessary, but focus on engaging Jerry in activities that suit his abilities and interests.
For example, when he first arrived at the Curative Senior Care Center, Jerry was attracted to the freedom and creativity of an art therapy program. Recently, his focus has shifted to interactive recreational activities. His love for music and dancing is apparent any time musicians stop by to perform. Jerry also enjoys socializing with others at the Center. Fellow clients are drawn to his engaging smile and contagious laugh.
Kathleen’s proactive approach to seeking support from her family and community resources has helped achieve her ultimate goal – to allow her husband to remain living at home for as long as possible.