Tools for Learning our R’s

I remember better when I Paint, Berna Hueber

 I remember better when I Puzzle with Me, Jane Snyder

I remember better when I play Making Memories Together, Gene Cohen

Making Memories Together by GENCO Games

Making Memories Together by GENCO Games

At first glance, each of these products appearsas a film, a puzzle, and a game, but really, each product is a reminiscence of the many R’s we all learn. These products are tools for remembering, reminding, recalling, reawakening, renewing and revising relationships.  And the most important R is that they do this work through the shared ritual of communication and care. Our strengths of connection always remain within, hidden sometimes through Alzheimer’s capacity to make memory seem invisible; but each of these tools reminds us not to let the emptiness replace the connections. They themselves remind each of us  – in our roles as loved ones, caregivers, family/friends, practitioners, and organizations  – how to remember.

Like cultures which pass around “talking sticks,” our products allow the ceremony of what truly matters between people to come forward: a way to remember to be together; a way to remember thatpresence is what counts; a way to remember that being together, with or without memory, always has the comfort of exchange.

Our products provide a way to return to memory rather than the need to have memory. These products provide access to revolving loops of memory – each one created by a person perhaps like you, a person touched by and inspired by how Alzheimer’s has affected his or her own parent and loved one.  They are each acts of honoring legacy and love.

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About the Author
Wendy Miller is a sculptor, writer, expressive arts therapist and educator. She has taught at JFK University, San Francisco State University, Southwestern College, Lesley College, California Institute of Integral Studies, and The George Washington University. She is the cofounder of Create Therapy Institute, which offers clinical services in arts-based psychotherapy and trainings in the expressive arts.

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