July-September 2019 Newsletter Cover Story

Because of you, our generous donors, 60 adults are enjoying the new Dementia Care Wing at our Bucyrus Campus. You are changing lives in amazing ways!

In a sunny corner of the Dementia Care Wing, four areas called “life skills stations,” are set up with props to look like settings people might have spent time during their younger days. The environment encourages them to reminisce about life experiences from their past and stay engaged mentally and physically.

The stations–an old-fashioned kitchen, sewing nook, workbench and nursery–are the creation of St. Ann Center supporters Leigh Peterson and Patt Krejci. “I spent days on the Internet, searching websites, eBay and Craigslist for antiques,” said Patt, an interior designer. “We were looking for things from our parents’ era. Leigh and I love a challenge.”

Using Leigh’s truck as a moving van, the friends scoured antique stores, estate sales and resale shops for everything from vintage metal kitchen furniture to a century-old wooden baby crib. The stations were funded by the Peterson Family Foundation. “Putting the stations together was so much fun,” Leigh said. “But the best part was watching how people interact with them.”

One day, when the women were working on the stations, the staff brought a few clients to the area. “A lady named Jane picked up a baby doll in the nursery and cradled it,” Patt remembered. “I asked her if she’d like to take it for a ride in the buggy, and she did. You could tell she was connecting to special memories.” Both Leigh and Patt considered the project a labor of love. Leigh’s aunt had dementia and was a client at St. Ann Center’s Stein Campus, and Patt’s mother died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

When the life skills stations were finished, Leigh and Patt were just beginning. They went on to decorate all nine bedrooms in the Bucyrus Campus’ new overnight respite. “It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to help in this way,” Patt said. “This facility and what’s happening here takes my breath away.”

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