Center in Southwest Harbor Geared Toward Seniors with Memory Loss 

There’s a new center in Southwest Harbor for seniors with memory loss.They can take part in a variety of activities, there all geared toward stimulating their brains.Meghan Hayward has more.”So they’re among their peers and they’re enjoying sharing time and stories that they have.”Since opening its doors in May, The Don and Beth Straus center has provided a variety of activities for seniors who experience memory loss.Adult day services program director Debra Chalmers says it allows seniors to really open up.”To be able to express themselves and to be able to feel a little more involved with folks who may share similar experiences.”The center is operated by Birch Bay Retirement Community in Bar Harbor and is open Monday through Friday 8:30 to 4:30.Chalmers says the center is also a nice retreat for seniors’ caregivers.”We provide activity calendars so the caregivers can either stay and be involved in the activity or they can go and do what they need to do. Their chores or just enjoy themselves.”All activities are geared toward stimulating the brain, helping to hold on to past memories and create new ones.Scrapbooking is just one of the many activities.”We can also do expressive therapies which identify those previous skills, interests and pleasures that they use to have, bring them out so they can recall living and participate in activities they use to but time has left behind.”Even though the center has only been open for about two months, Kuffler says he is seeing great improvements.”Most of them leave now looking forward to coming back and that’s our definition of success. Someone who’s had a good day and says I’m ready to come back.”