The World Health Organization identified dementia as a public health priority. In Indiana, the number of cases is expected to rise 18 percent by 2025. A new movement is underway to make Indiana more dementia friendly through better awareness and understanding of the disease.
At Conner Prairie, a living history museum in Fishers, a small group of seniors inspect a series of different objects. Interpretation Manager Kelsey Van Hoorst guides them through the exercise.
"I’ve already heard some wonderful stories about ‘I used this artifact’ or ‘I remember my grandmother had one of these,’" Hoorst says.
This is the museum’s first in a series of memory cafes. As participants explore and discuss items in the collection, the process can strengthen remote memory. And this is part of a larger push to make spaces and people more dementia aware.
Norman Burns is the museum’s president.
"It’s really just getting back to putting human in humankind and I think museums can play a special role in the way we reach out to our audiences," says Burns.
Seniors interact with museum artifacts as part of a memory cafe. Interpretation Manager Kelsey Van Hoorst says she's heard some participants mention they've used some of these objects or remember relatives who had them. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)
Listen to the memory cafe session at Conner Prairie.