For the last eighteen months or so, my husband G has participated in a small group class to improve memory and cognitive skills. The program was developed by a woman in Massachusetts named Lynn Serper, and there are several teachers in our area who are certified to teach using this method.
We love my husband's teacher. Carolyn is kind, caring, endlessly patient, and has a wonderful sense of humor. Twice a week, in a classroom at our church, she leads G and two other students through a series of exercises that include reading aloud, answering questions about history and geography, writing sentences about what they've read, math problems, and sometimes games like dominoes or Scrabble. (It was Carolyn who got us started playing dominoes at home.)
We met Monday after a four week break, and I was very glad to have the classes start again. Between the work and the social contact, the classes benefit G. There aren't many groups that he has wanted to participate in, but this is one that he feels helps him and that gives him a lot of satisfaction.
The pictures give you an idea of the focus the men bring to the class. As the class progresses and they work through the exercises, they take turns answering the questions, and when one of them is stuck, the others offer hints and help. There is teasing and good-natured joking about the problems they each have with memory.
It takes guts for someone who has had a successful business career, who has raised a family, and has contributed to their community, to embark on a study program to hang on to their cognitive skills. Dementia is a cruel disease, but these men are facing it with courage and grace, and their teacher is helping them do it. We are so very thankful to have Carolyn in our lives.