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Dominion Senior Living recognizes 'The Longest Day' for those with Alzheimer's, memory loss

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Posted at 4:08 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 17:49:43-04

RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — More than 50 million people worldwide live with Alzheimer's or dementia. It's a disease that can have such a devastating impact, but a senior living facility in Richmond set out to make the day a shining light against the darkness of Alzheimer's.

Dozens of Dominion Senior Living residents intertwined with occupational therapy students from Eastern Kentucky University as two generations help each other without even realizing it.

"We have partnered together for the last several years to allow students to have the experience to come out work with the older adult clients that are residents here and for the students in the occupational therapy program to get hands-on experience," said Leah Simpkins, Assistant Occupational Therapy Professor at Eastern Kentucky University.

"It's remarkable," said Donna Agee, Executive Director for Dominion Senior Living. "They are engaged, full of life, full of stories. I watch them talk to our residents and they listen."

It's a connection grown through an important cause. It's the longest day campaign for the Alzheimer's Association, which brings people around the world together to fight the dark feelings this disease can spread.

"One in three families are affected by Alzheimer's and dementia," said Agee. "The enrichment they have here with activities, the dancing, the occupational therapy… all those just bringing dignity to the seniors that suffer with Alzheimer's."

It's a shining light to block out the suffering—at least for a little while—through the bonds of young and old.

Professors with EKU's occupational therapy program want their students to use a day like Tuesday at Dominion to help them understand the best friend approach, allowing them to better connect with their future patients.