Ms. Guthrie's speech struck a personal note when she described her own experiences with caregiving. "My father passed away in 2009," Ms. Guthrie said, emotion swelling in her voice. "My mom stepped up as a caregiver just like all of you, and she'd never been a nurse, she never had any experience doing all of that, and throughout the time that my dad was sick, we did many things to try to help her through that." Ms. Guthrie spoke of how the experience left a special place in her heart for caregivers, who often have no choice but to help a loved one in need.
She highlighted several of the WHF's ongoing projects to support caregivers, including:
- A deck of cards designed to inspire mutual healing between care partners.
- The Alzheimer's Cafe program, a network of cafes where care partners can bond in a social setting.
- Early stage memory loss programs, a partnership with the Greenwood Seniors Center to help care partners express themselves through improv theater, self-reflective and guided journaling, somatic yoga, free drawing, and film screenings.
- The Arts and Dementia Care Coalition, a way to share resources between those who work to provide arts-based programming in the field of dementia care.
- Music and the Brain, an upcoming forum on brain health in collaboration with Songwriting Works Educational Foundation. The forum brings together experts on neurology, music, and myth to explore their relationship to brain health. Check out our event page for more information about the upcoming event in Port Townsend, WA on June 18.