Sometimes I feel like my decision to work in an assisted living facility for people with dementia isolates me from a certain "normal" world that is going on without me. The retreat, however, allowed me to feel like I am right where I need to be, in terms of mattering as an important part of society.
I often feel alone at work as I try to change the culture of the places where I work to recognize the humanness, the person who remains with the dis-ease of dementia. Having been at the Memory Bridge Retreat I now feel that I have hands and hearts holding me in my work. The experience has changed me as an OT [occupational therapist].
This once in a lifetime experience was beyond anything I could have imagined; I arrived with an open heart and mind, hoping to learn, to grow, and to expose myself to new opportunities and challenges. The treasure I left with was a bounty so rich I was both fulfilled and overwhelmed.
The impact of the retreat is with me daily. At some moment each day some piece of what we talked about comes to the forefront and sits with me as I make decisions on how to move my organization further and do the best I can for my residents.
In this room of accomplished, dedicated, educated, experienced dementia practitioners, we were open to wonderment and continually amazed at the human spirit. How wonderful spending a week being cared for. The retreat center was the perfect place.