A camp for those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Camp for Caring, a weekend sleepover camp at a woodsy conference center outside San Francisco. The retreat, sponsored a few times a year — funding permitting — by the nonprofit Family Caregiver Alliance, brings together 18 to 20 people who have dementia for a refreshing, engaging weekend of music, dance, reminiscing and other activities that emphasize strengths instead of losses.

Post-camp surveys of family caregivers indicate that the “good feeling” lingers, and it even can improve daily functioning. Though there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s or a treatment for it that significantly slows its progression, experts have learned in recent years that by tapping into emotion — using techniques like those employed by the Camp for Caring — it is often possible to tunnel through the mental fog of dementia and engage people who are pulling into themselves.

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