HOPE Dementia Support will host its first in-person fundraiser since 2019 on March 18 at Royal Oaks Country Club.
The “Let it be HOPE” fundraiser will feature dinner. There will also be silent and live auctions and a paddle raise as the program works to raise funds for its mission to provide support, education and advocacy for care partners and their loved ones living with dementia in Clark County.
UpBeat Music Therapy and Come On Let’s Sing, LLC will provide music, while Mike Reardon, the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging will provide the opening remarks.
Vicki Schmall, a professor emeritus in gerontology at Oregon State University will be the keynote speaker as she shares what it is like to live with an elderly mother with dementia.
“Other speakers include a care partner and an individual who actually is living with the disease,” stated a release from the organization.
HOPE Dementia Support is a program of CDM Caregiving Services. Covering Southwest Washington and beyond, the group hosts weekly meetings from 1 to 3 p.m. on Mondays both in person at Mallard Landing Assisted Living in Battle Ground and on Zoom.
The local support groups and other programs by HOPE intend to enhance the wellbeing of individuals living with dementia and their care partners, according to its mission statement. The programs and services are provided free of charge.
In November of 2016, HOPE Dementia Support recognized the lack of dementia support in the greater Battle Ground area. The group came to fruition at Mallard Landing Assisted Living. Program Manager Lynn Crawford said the group’s attendance has been more consistent since they added Zoom meetings. With an active roster of 30 individuals, around 12 attend their hybrid meetings.
Three specialty groups have been introduced in the last year. They include a twice monthly support group for individuals with memory loss, a monthly support group for care partners who have lost a loved one to dementia called “New Beginnings” and a “music and memories” group.
“What we have found over the years is that frequently the person who has lost their loved one will continue to come to the group, simply because those are the people who have become their support,” Crawford said when discussing the New Beginnings group.
Crawford said the person who facilitates New Beginnings is a retired chaplain who worked in a hospital for many years.
Music and memories is a monthly group that provides instruments and songs for individuals with memory loss as well as their care partners. Through the group, HOPE was awarded a grant to provide 25 families with an Echo Dot system that features a Spotify music streaming account so they can make playlists of their choosing.
HOPE is on the hunt for young volunteers who can help create the accounts and make playlists for the 25 families.
Crawford said music impacts people with dementia in an interesting way.
“It stimulates them to be more alert and more responsive,” she said. “A gentleman that is relatively advanced in his dementia and has very little speech, but following the group, he actually is able to converse. My experience with him was I had asked him if he had played an instrument and he was telling me how he played a saxophone while he was in high school and his wife is just looking at him like he is a different person because it was such an amazing thing.”
Anyone who is interested in sponsoring a table or purchasing a ticket can go online to bit.ly/3ZYg2gk.
The Hope Dementia Support spring fundraiser will run from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the Royal Oaks Country Club, 8917 NE Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver. The event is presented by The Vancouver Clinic.