Golden Valley Facility Works to Help Seniors with Memory Loss
Covenant Village in Golden Valley is using a program called SAIDO to help residents deal with memory loss and dementia.
The program has brought together an unlikely tandem. Teenager Josiah Ruch works with Helen Olfelt, who is in memory care at Covenant Village in Golden Valley. Despite a huge generation gap, they’re good friends.
“He’s so cute,” Olfet said.
SAIDO is a drug-free approach that tries to combat Alzheimer’s and dementia by using stimulating brain exercises such as simple math, easy reading and number matching.
“Keeping the brain active is what helps with memory,” said Mary Beth Snyder of Covenant Village.
“It’s supposed to make me better,” Olfelt said. “And I’m looking forward to that.”
“We See More Joy and Smiles”
Ruch is one of many who come to Covenant Village to interact with seniors five days a week. SAIDO is not a panacea, but it helps reduce memory loss and sometimes there is even a slight improvement.
“We see better functioning,” Snyder said. “We see more memories. We see more joy and smiles.”
Ivie Folden is 101 years old. She says she has benefited from SAIDO.
“It’s very interesting,” Folden said. “Makes you feel like you do know something.”
“We also give them a lot of positive praise,” Snyder said. “It’s a really uplifting time for the residents.”
Thanks to SAIDO, residents are able to function better around families, friends and caregivers.
“They may be able to tell you what they would prefer to have for dinner,” Snyder said. “Those small things can be very empowering.”
This is the third year Covenant Village has been using SAIDO. It is being tried in 18 states and the Golden Valley facility is the only one in Minnesota that uses the program.