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March 8, 2024

HERstory: Honoring the Journey of Individuals Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Brandy McBride, Memory Care Director

Women’s History Month

HERstory serves as a tribute to the unique journey, experiences, and contributions of an individual living with dementia. Each HERstory carries a rich past of memories, relationships, and accomplishments that define their identity. As dementia progresses, memories begin to fade. Preserving and sharing these narratives become invaluable in honoring the person affected and maintaining their dignity. At Vitalia Solon, we believe in acknowledging and celebrating each individual’s life story. Through this approach, we affirm the inherent worth and complexity of those living with dementia. It allows us to transcend the limitations imposed by their condition.

Through storytelling, we bridge the gap between the past and the present. This fosters meaningful interactions and cultivates a sense of belonging for individuals living with dementia. By embracing their narratives with empathy and compassion, we counteract stigma, dispel misconceptions, and promote a culture of inclusivity and respect for individuals affected by dementia.

Below is a HERstory about one of the residents living in our Memory Care Neighborhood.

May R. was born in May 1928 in Ohio. She grew up in South Euclid and attended Brush High School, where she met her future husband, John. After high school, May attended Ohio State University and earned her registered nurse degree. 

 May worked as a nurse for a few years before reconnecting with John in marriage in 1950 and starting a family. They lived in Highland Heights for a time before moving to Solon, where she has been ever since. She had placed her nursing career on hold to become a stay-at-home mom. After a few years, while the three children were in school, May returned to the workforce, spending ten years at Erico Products in Solon.

May has been a member of the United Methodist Church since 1978. There, she developed her love of quilting. May and John volunteered at Habitat for Humanity for several years. May would make quilts and provide them to families as a welcome gift.

Gardening is her passion; she cherishes nature and relishes being outdoors. Every year, May and John treat the kids to fishing expeditions in Canada, creating cherished memories. Additionally, May has explored Ireland, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Among her siblings, May has five: two daughters, one son, six grandkids, and a great-grandson. Known for her pleasant demeanor and helpful nature, May has led a long, beautiful, and purposeful life.

Sharing the life story of someone living with dementia is not just an act of preserving memories; it’s an embodiment of compassion, understanding, and respect. By embracing their past, we honor their journey and provide valuable insights into who they are beyond the constraints of their condition through HERstory.

VITALIA® Solon in Solon, OH offers senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include The Lake Effect Restaurant, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Conveniently located just southwest of Hwy 77 and 480 just moments from Ahuja medical with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Signature of Solon, Uptown Solon, Cleveland Metro Parks, Rollhouse Solon, and Chagrin Falls Shopping District.

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