“The mission of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project is to improve the quality of life of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by facilitating creative expression through poetry. We do not set boundaries in our beliefs in what possible for people with memory impairment to create. By saying to people with dementia, we value you and your creativity; we are saying we value all members of our community.” –www.alzpoetry.com
Residents of Grace and Faith Communities, the dementia care neighborhoods within Mother of Perpetual Help Assisted Living, joined Lila Shepley, a certified Workshop Facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project in creating this beautiful poem about the beach.
POEM: The Beach
Come to the Beach*
I think of my honeymoon!
I think of sand!
Where the sea is blue*
The large waves coming in<
And little white waves come running at you*
There are penguins!
It’s a lot of fun
A wave comes splashing over your toes*
I think of nighttime and the sound of the waves
You just stand still and away it goes*
It makes me seasick
We’ll build a castle down by the sea*
And walk in the sand
And look for shells if you’ll come with me*
To watch the surfers
I just love it!
* Author unknown
Italicized = Memories verbalized by residents to include in their poem
For inspiration, Lila brought along several things to help residents get into a beachy state of mind. Sea Shells, sun screen, and a pail and shovel were some of the things residents were able to touch, smell and look at to help tap into their creativity.
Lila started with lines from an existing poem about the beach and asked residents to add in memories, thoughts or insights to each. What resulted was a beautiful poem that definitely makes you crave sand and sun!