Connective Moments: Dementia Care & Beyond
Connective Moments: Dementia Care & Beyond with Mandy Shoemaker, Co-Founder of Connectivities
How do we engage with our older adults in ways that bring genuine connection, joy, and therapeutic benefits? Co-founders Mandy Shoemaker and Michala Gibson have been on a mission to answer that question. Through the establishment of group homes for people living with dementia, to the publication of their book "Now is Found" in 2021, they have consistently sought to foster community, connection, and control for those in the dementia community. Their latest endeavor, Connectivities, is a monthly subscription service dedicated to mindful engagement. Curated by memory care experts with vast experience, each package aims to guide caregivers and their loved ones through simple activities that nurture personal and purposeful interactions. Their goal? To offer not just a product but a community, ensuring every caregiver finds hope and assistance in every box.
With over two decades of experience in education, co-founder Mandy Shoemaker is no stranger to the world of meaningful engagement. Having transitioned from nurturing young minds as an elementary school principal to co-founding Prairie Elder Care and Connectivities, Mandy is driven by a desire to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. Today, we talk about how to bridge the gap for caregivers striving for more than just care – but for true, heartfelt connection. Join us as we explore the power of play, innovative engagement methods, and the vital role of caregivers and families play in enhancing the lives of our older adults. Whether you're a caregiver, family member, or someone who's passionate about the dementia community, there's helpful information for you here.
Thank you, Mandy, for bringing the gift of connection to us!
Listen to our episode HERE.
Mandy shares about:
Exploring ways to foster genuine connection, joy, and therapeutic benefits with our older adult community, particularly those with dementia
How they have championed the well-being of those living with dementia
How Connectivities is designed for mindful engagement, curated by memory care experts to provide activities that stimulate meaningful interactions
Ways that they support caregivers to feel hope and receive guidance
Emphasizing the power of play, innovative methods of engagement and the crucial role caregivers and families play in the lives of those living with dementia
Learn more at www.connectivities.us
About Mandy Shoemaker & Connectivities
Since 2014, co-founders Mandy Shoemaker and Michala Gibson have successfully owned and operated group homes for people living with dementia. In 2021, they published Now is Found, a book that defines their mission to give back community, connection and control. Their next chapter has led them to creating Connectivities, a creative dementia engagement solution developed by memory care experts with years of experience helping families navigate the unknown.
Founded in 2022, Connectivities offers caregivers space and time for meaningful, mindful connection with loved ones and residents through a curated monthly subscription service. Our thoughtfully packaged experiences can be used in homes and memory care communities to guide participants through simple activities designed to spark purposeful, personal interactions.
We strive to bridge the gap for caregivers, delivering help and hope in every box. And with each Connectivities shipment, our community of care and conscious connection grows.
MANDY SHOEMAKER, CO-FOUNDER
With 20 years of experience in education prior to her career in dementia care, Mandy has a deep passion for creating programs that spark meaningful engagement. As an elementary school principal, she focused on supporting her families’ children. As co-founder of Prairie Elder Care and Connectivities, she has shifted her focus to ensuring a better quality of life for people living with dementia. Through co-authoring the book, Now is Found, Mandy has worked to minimize the stigma of dementia and help people understand how Community, Connection and Control can improve quality of life for those dealing with the effects of dementia.
MICHALA GIBSON, CO-FOUNDER
Michala is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience in the senior care industry. She has served as Director of Nursing and Director of Staff Development in local care communities. She is the co-founder of Prairie Elder Care and the Prairie Farmstead where residents live in small group homes on a small farm setting. As a Certified Trainer for Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care, Michala works continuously to ensure that the elders in her care have the best opportunities for quality of life. Michala is co-author of the book, "Now is Found", highlighting steps to giving back Community, Connection and Control to those living with dementia. Connectivities brings Michala’s expertise to help caregivers everywhere create connections and improve quality of life for people living with dementia.
*This episode is brought to you by Gigi Betty co. A boutique gift shop raising awareness and funds for caregivers and care partners. Show now at www.gigibettyco.com. Use the special code WILLGATHER20 for 20% off your order- Just for our podcast listeners!
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