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March 8, 2024

HERstory: Honoring the Journey of Individuals Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Valorie Lucio, Memory Care Director

Women’s History Month

HERstory serves as a tribute to the unique journey, experiences, and contributions of an individual living with dementia. Each HERstory carries a rich past of memories, relationships, and accomplishments that define their identity. As dementia progresses, memories begin to fade. Preserving and sharing these narratives become invaluable in honoring the person affected and maintaining their dignity. At The Castlewood Senior Living, we believe in acknowledging and celebrating each individual’s life story. Through this approach, we affirm the inherent worth and complexity of those living with dementia. It allows us to transcend the limitations imposed by their condition.

Through storytelling, we bridge the gap between the past and the present. This fosters meaningful interactions and cultivates a sense of belonging for individuals living with dementia. By embracing their narratives with empathy and compassion, we counteract stigma, dispel misconceptions, and promote a culture of inclusivity and respect for individuals affected by dementia.

Below is a HERstory about one of the residents living in our Memory Care Neighborhood.

Martha C. has lived a life of adventure. She grew up in a small town in Eastern Oklahoma. Her parents were a pastor and a classical pianist who dedicated herself to homemaking. She had an older brother and sister, sharing her childhood with them. Additionally, she had animal companions—a cow named Popcorn and a horse named Sugar—who brought joy and adventure to her upbringing. When she was 14, the family was relocated to a larger church in a city, which the family did not like.

Her father became the pastor at the American Interdenominational Church in La Paz, Bolivia, where Martha would spend her high school years and learn fluent Spanish. She attended Philips University for two years. During one summer break, she ventured to Saudi Arabia, where her father had become the pastor of Aramco’s church. It was there that she met Jack, and their connection led to marriage.

Martha’s Family, Creativity, and Retirement Dream

The couple welcomed a son and daughter into their family and decided to relocate to Denver, CO. There, they settled on a small acreage, which became their home. They cultivated a garden and raised various animals, including horses, chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, and even a Jersey cow, which Martha lovingly tended to and milked. As a girl, she had a passion for horses and wide-open spaces, which Colorado provided.

Following in the footsteps of her musical parents, Martha sang in a women’s group at church. She is very creative, which was constantly demonstrated in her Oklahoma, Saudi Arabia, Colorado, Kansas, and Texas homes. Her hobbies include cross-stitching, dog training, woodworking, and quilting. She is an excellent cook and hostess, having entertained many friends and hosted Bible studies over the years.

Martha designed their retirement home and moved to Saddlebrooke to oversee its construction. 417 Magazine chose it as their 2007 Home of the Year, a testament to her creativity and attention to detail. Martha continued to be the “Hostess with the Mostest” for church and Kanakuk friends. Martha is a loving, wise, patient, talented woman who loves her Savior Jesus, her husband, Jack, her two children, and eight grandchildren.

Sharing the life story of someone living with dementia is not just an act of preserving memories; it’s an embodiment of compassion, understanding, and respect. By embracing their past, we honor their journey and provide valuable insights into who they are beyond the constraints of their condition through HERstory.

The Castlewood Senior Living in Nixa, MO offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Cox Medical Center South and with convenient access to major shopping centers, including Fremont Hills Country Club, Fountain Plaza, Smallin Civil War Cave, 160 Grand Prix Amusement Center, and the 4 X 4 Brewery-Fremont.

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