"Growing old", as one book title puts it "is not for cowards". What many fear at the end of a long life is not the number of years. They fear dementia. When a person who has lived a long, full life becomes as helpless as a two-year-old child, the relatives are often overwhelmed. The association remental in rodental was founded to help in such cases. In his care group, people suffering from dementia find a feeling of security.
"Our association was born out of necessity, says chairwoman heike beutnagel. The need arose in 2009. At that time, a private care facility for people affected by dementia in rodental was abandoned. Relatives of sick people looked for a solution and found it in their own initiative. Since then, people with varying degrees of dementia have been cared for in an apartment rented for this purpose.
Every day from 9 a.M. To 5 p.M., volunteers take care of the association's guests. "We are here also on holidays. Dementia knows no vacations, says heike beutnagel resolutely. But the care cannot be provided with volunteers alone. That is why remental works together with the private care service elan vital. "When it comes to administering medication, for example, only the nursing service is allowed to do that", explains the remental chairwoman.
For the guests – heike beutnagel is not talking about patients – the care group offers a quiet environment. In one room, nurse grazyna popella plays mensch arguer dich nicht with a visitor. Another sits next to her and reads while the nurse holds her hand. Another visitor has made herself comfortable in a recliner and is taking a nap. The whole atmosphere radiates a gentle sense of security.
Lunch is already served. Before it was not so quiet. "We attach great importance to doing the housework ourselves", explains heike beutnagel. Her experience is that such activities as cooking awaken memories in dementia patients. Immediately, work such as ironing or activities in the kitchen can be carried out again flawlessly. The caregiver experiences a similar effect with music. Heike beutnagel's guests often hum along to a melody she plays, and it is not uncommon for them to even remember entire lyrics from their childhood days long ago.
The living environment deliberately contains elements that might have been in german living rooms and cakes in the 50s or 60s. This seems to have a positive effect on the people with dementia.
The move is imminent
Heike Beutnagel is delighted that the association will soon be able to move into new premises. From the middle of january the care group will be located in the house schlesierstrabe 16. Remental already has close contacts there, where in recent years the model project "living in all phases of life" has been implemented in homes the housing development has been steadily expanded. There is a neighborhood management and the lebenshilfe association also has its headquarters there. With its communal rooms, handicapped-accessible construction and already close contact with the established facilities there, the new location is a real stroke of luck for heike beutnagel.
"We founded the forum schlesierstrabe", she says. In cooperation with all those involved in the senior living concept, afternoons are organized and parties are celebrated together. The harp group that heike beutnagel has founded also meets there. "Anyone can join us", she emphasizes. The age range in the group is from the early 20s to the late 80s. And everyone learns to play the table harp.
And that brings heike beutnagel back to her work for remental. "I also use the harp here for group work", she explains enthusiastically. "The gentle sound of the harp appeals to dementia sufferers."
The small association with its currently 19 members and a modest annual contribution of 30 euros, can make financially no great leaps. So the move into the new rooms becomes a financial feat. "We have a nice garden there with rough trees in it. But unfortunately we don't have any money for the design at the moment", she says. Suitable paths must be laid out and seating areas created. The financing for the terrace and a sunshade for the windows on the south side of the building is also not yet in place.
The wohnbau supports the association to the best of its ability. But when it comes to equipping the kitchen in such a way that it is possible to work optimally with guests suffering from dementia, then more money simply has to be invested than for a normal facility. "Without the support of the city, the district and the wohnbau, the project would not have been possible, praises heike beutnagel, who is absorbed in the work with dementia patients: "so much comes back. I simply realized that this is mine, this is what I want to do."