Creating Awareness and Understanding of Dementia and Aging
From monitoring medication, to endless doctor appointments and tests, to unreliable caregivers, Zissie and Sandy Gitel know firsthand the stresses involved in caring for aging parents with multiple ailments. When dementia and Alzheimer’s are added to the mix, everything gets worse.
The Gitels started In Their Shoes to address aging-related challenges. They became certified to conduct the Virtual Dementia Tour™, a creative exercise giving caregivers insight into what patients with dementia experience, to help them bring compassion and dignity to their care. To date, more than 2,200 Israeli healthcare professionals and laypersons have participated.
To make the Gitels’ work even more effective, The Good People Fund introduced them to Dan Cohen, founder of Music and Memory™. This ground-breaking program gives those with cognitive or physical diseases an MP3 player outfitted with personalized playlists. Listening to familiar music from an earlier time in life can awaken long-forgotten memories and reconnect patients to their surroundings. Seven Israeli nursing homes have adopted the program with several more awaiting funding.