Alzheimer's Poetry Project moves programming online, places check-in calls with elders

screen shot of a facebook live video with two people on screen talking

Wisconsin ADRC senior outreach specialist Fabu Carter joined Alzheimer's Poetry Project founder Gary Glazner on Facebook Live to share poetry, offer tips for check-in calls with elders, and discuss virtual programming. Carter leads the Wisconsin ADRC Alzheimer's Poetry Project in Madison, Wisconsin.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted much of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project's programming, but a few initiatives have moved online, including the annual Memory Camp, traditionally held at Moon Lake in Saint Germain, Wisconsin. A sleep away camp for people with the lived experience of dementia and their families, this year's Memory Camp Found Art Project is going virtual with a Zoom presentation on Saturday, September 12. (Find details and registration information on the Memory Camp webpage.)

Another initiative the Alzheimer's Poetry Project is pursuing during the pandemic is placing check-in calls to former Memory Campers and other elders. "Check-in calls are to be supportive to that person -- that's really your main goal," Carter explained during the Facebook Live session. "You are placing the call to offer support, to be a listening ear, to be kind, and to let people know they're not alone in the world." 

Carter offered a few tips for successful check-in calls:

  • Make sure you have time for a call
  • Remove background noise
  • Have paper and a pencil next to the phone in case you need to take notes
  • Talk slowly and clearly
  • Be a good listener
  • Always be kind

Watch the archived Facebook Live conversation, which was recorded on August 27, 2020.