Where Have All the Flowers Gone. . . Long Time Passing

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This song comes to mind as I scan my past memory café themes, and have flashes of shared moments of joy, of memory and of amazing souls who have transitioned out of life with dementia.

  • Making strawberry jam at Park Station with my blue-eyed wonder Jane
  • Prompting a sweet smile from Gail
  • Receiving a wink from Jim and a laugh
  • Bonding over MD crab memories with Dick
  • Basking in the gentlemanly favor of Archie
  • Enjoying the assistance of David, always willing, always agile
  • Enjoying Tom’s flirtatious interpretations and observations
  • Marveling at Sid’s pleasant and polite insistence
  • Listening intently to David’s stories ripe with detail and joy 
  • Sharing baseball memories and history facts with Bruce

Each of these individuals added color and joy to our memory café family. They were flowers whose blooms were remarkable even late into the winter of dementia. What an honor to have spent time in their glow; realizing that I was basking in the prime of their day.  

Through the generosity of wonderful sponsors, I have been blessed with the task of watering them with the best in Memory Engagement, giving their care partners a chance to relax, as well as recognizing each care partner for their steadfastness.

Arden Courts and Dr. Cate re-ignited Memory Café of Tampa Bay four years ago. Many of our early attendees are no longer with us. Some are living in specialized care; others have passed away. Even as new folks join us, we remember with nostalgia all the sweet moments shared and acknowledge the profound commitment of their spouses and care partners.

Dr. Cate will always be a gardener of dementia world, watering and tending to prompt the blossoms. Now we are doing the gardening via Zoom, but we maintain the prime of day time, the best in Memory Engagement to continue to reap the colorful memories despite the season—all sponsored by premier sponsors.

Where have all the flowers gone? Dementia has picked them everyone. When will the research cure?

Until they do, we garden—carrying water, hoeing weeds and nurturing blooms.  Join us every Mon., Weds., & Fri. 11:00 am at catemccarty.com/calendar.

Dedicated to all the individuals who are no longer with us.

About Cate

Passionate about dementia care and quality of life throughout the last days of life----sums up Cate McCarty, Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach. With close to forty years of long-term care experience in nursing and recreation, a Master's in Thanatology and a PhD in Aging Studies, Dr. Cate seizes every opportunity to translate research into quality of life for individuals with dementia and all of us who have the honor to "rub elbows" with them.
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