Best Retirement Community: Living Well With Dementia

Lisa Clark, Program Coordinator

by Lisa L. Clark, MS, OTR/L, Program Coordinator of Living Well with Dementia

Living Well with Dementia” is a new program being offered
at The Cedars, for people with memory issues.

Lisa is an occupational therapist who is the Program Coordinator for Living Well with Dementia. She has thirty years of experience working with people who are over 65.  In the course of her career she has also provided services to people with dementia, to help them participate in activities that are meaningful for them.

Lisa graduated from the University of New Hampshire with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Occupational Therapy.  She has worked in many healthcare settings such as acute rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, dementia care and consultation in Assisted Living, home health services, and acute hospital settings. 

Lisa has also taught at the University of Southern Maine for over 15 years, in their Occupational Therapy program at the Lewiston-Auburn campus.  She enjoys seeing students become excited about facilitating people’s engagement with activities that are
important to them.  Some students also discover that the world of working with people with dementia is very exciting and rewarding, as well.

Too often people assume that a diagnosis of dementia is an ‘end’.  The philosophy of the “Living Well with Dementia” is just as the title implies – people can live well with dementia.  More and more research is showing that people can continue to contribute, be active and keep living life well, even after a diagnosis of dementia.  Occupational therapists help people participate in meaningful activities for health and wellness. An occupational therapist can break activities down into separate pieces or steps, and then use people’s remaining skills to continue to do parts of activities, or the whole activity, just in a different way. Keeping brain and body active is important for health  –  including people with memory issues.

The “Living Well with Dementia” program is an exciting next step for Lisa, in keeping people well and engaged in life, despite memory issues.