Dear Ezer Mizion,
When I heard about the “Bonding with Motion” workshop to improve the physical capabilities of handicapped and home-bound patients, and especially when I learned that the workshop is geared for family members caring for these patients, I decided to check it out. I took a peek – and I was won over…
As a daughter of a mother who was diagnosed with dementia five years ago, we were looking for ways to keep Ima more active.
Let me preface by explaining that Ima was always a very sociable and active woman. For years, she went swimming in the pool twice a week and ran her home masterfully – until she took ill.
Today, the situation is drastically different. Ima hardly ever leaves the house. She doesn’t feel any motivation to get out. All the household duties fall on us, her daughters. We take care of the shopping, cooking, paying bills, etc. Most of the time, Ima sits on the couch or sleeps. The only thing that stimulates her is company. As a result, she has put on weight, and she gets tired out very quickly by any excursion outside the house or special activity.
This is where “Bonding with Motion” came into her/our life. The program was twofold. It encompasses both physical exercise plus the ‘bonding’ aspect of socially relating to others.
I was afraid that she would resist, but to my great surprise, she was very happy, on condition that I would be the one to “practice” with her.
Of course, I followed the instructions I received from the physiotherapists and exercise teachers. Ima surprised us and enjoyed the activity very much.
We discovered her potential increasing more and more. An hour of sitting on the couch doing nothing became an hour of activity, spiced with laughter and pleasure.
The stimulation worked. During the exercises, Ima retrieved from her long-term memory other exercises that she could do, boosting her self-confidence and increasing her motivation to cooperate. With time, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren who came to visit (we have a schedule of visits with her arranged by two wonderful granddaughters), they soon noticed the ball and the muscle-building bands and joined the exercise team. The visits became more meaningful, with purpose and pleasure for one and all.
We also had a visit from one of the project teachers. She personally checked Ima’s capabilities and guided me on what to do with her and how.
In summary, what all our pleas to her about her need to move around more didn’t accomplish, we achieved with the help of a little kit of exercise accessories and proper guidance on how to use it.
A hearty thank-you to the entire staff of “Bonding with Motion.”