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Families of Mon Ami: Denise and Dolores

Daughter and elderly mother looking at phone
Denise cares for her mother, Dolores, on her own, visiting Mom in an assisted care facility as often as she can. Denise has still been feeling that she’s not doing enough, and worried that Mom wasn’t getting enough interaction in her home. Denise feels that finding Mon Ami enables Mom to engage with the world around her like she used to.

Denise, please tell us about your mom.

My mom, Dolores, she’s 89 years old – she has been in an assisted living place for going on 4 years now. She enjoys activities, games, puzzles, walks, she likes being with other people. When she was active she was in singing and dancing and all kinds of volunteer activities. She’d like to hear about you. If you talk about yourself to her, so she can ask you questions. She gets a little bored in her care home here because there’s not too many activities and everyone else is a little further along than she is in her dementia. The isolation here pushes her into herself, so if you talk to her it takes her mind off herself.

She’s active and she goes to an adult activity center three days a week, but she’s starting to decline a little bit. I noticed she gets tired quite a bit, but she sure perked up when this Mon Ami came over. As soon as she saw people she was happy to see them. She likes engaging in conversation.

How did you find out about Mon Ami?

I saw an ad on Next Door three months ago. I met with Joy and Madeline (the founders) and they came over to the house. It was a lot of fun because they would bring some games on their own. They would come over for 2-3 hours and take her on a walk and I know my mom enjoyed the company. I would talk to her after and she seemed to be in better spirits because she got some attention in the home.

I think it’s just so important that people are stimulated ongoing, keeping their minds active. They don’t have this in any home. The elderly get bored so having this group come out and play games and do activities and just talking, just having conversation, it just makes them feel happy. It’s different than family come and visit, it’s nice to have someone from the outside come in.

What do you think of the visits?

I have a busy life and I think with me it might be different than maybe some other people because I’m the only family member that sees her so I’m not sharing time with her with anyone else so this service really means a lot to me to know that I can call them. They’re like family.