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March 8, 2024

HERstory: Honoring the Journey of Individuals Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Shemika Morris, 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 Carriage Court Senior Living, 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.

Joan M. was born in February of 1930 in Columbus, OH. She lived in the Clintonville area and after graduation from North High School, Joan attended Heidelberg College in Tiffin. It was there she met her future husband, Norman.

In 1951 a past photo of Joan, she has almost shoulder-length wavy hair and is standing outside by a house in a short-sleeved dress with lace.

He graduated and obtained a teaching/coaching position in Hilliard Schools in 1950. Joan deferred her college for their marriage in August 1950 and moved to Hilliard, back when the population was only about 650.

In the 50s, the couple started their family and had four boys. In 1951, Joan had twin boys, but within five days, one died of pneumonia. Of course, her three surviving sons were spoiled. In the early 60s, Joan returned to college at Ohio State University, receiving both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.

This is a joyful current photo of Joan smiling in her beige button-up sweater with embroidered flowers and green leaves. She is holding a cup with a fun reddish orange drink.

Joan taught third grade in the Hilliard School District and retired as the Reading Coordinator for the elementary schools. She passionately pursued watercolor art in her spare time until vision issues prevented her from continuing. Over 60 paintings, which she has gifted to family and friends, adorn homes around town. Joan attended Hilliard Methodist Church, and her faith has provided a positive view of the past, present, and future.

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. 

Carriage Court Senior Living in Hilliard, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Dublin Methodist Hospital with convenient access to major shopping centers, including Heritage Golf Club, The Market at Hilliard, Ten Pin Bowling, Crooked Can Brewery & Center Street Market , and the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center.

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