KIM Q&A Series

Know Your Options!

Providing care to someone with Dementia is challenging and frequently an all-consuming endeavor. This 24-7 responsibility leaves little time to research all the service options available. However, it takes a “team” to deliver quality Dementia care.

Keep In Mind, Inc. is dedicated to supporting caregivers. Therefore, through KIM Q&A; we’ll introduce you to a variety of service options and providers. Each Q&A will give care partners a brief summary of a variety of organizations and service-options available. The more you KNOW the more support you can have during the care journey.

We’ll interview service providers and share their responses with readers in a clear and concise manner.

   

Valor Productions

ValorLogo

Q&A with  Aaron Cantley; U.S. Marine Corps veteran & Founder/CEO of Valor Productions: 

http://www.valorprod.com/

 

1. KIM – Valor Productions is a company dedicated to documenting the stories and experiences of our Veteran’s for themselves, their loved ones and generations to follow. An extremely noble and valuable service, can you share with the readers how you’ve personally witnessed and experienced the impact the documentation process has on the participating vets and their families?

VP – Every conversation we have with our Nation’s Veterans and their families is priceless.

I founded Valor shortly after losing all three of my uncles in 2009, who served in World War II and the Korean War.  In an instant, the stories I grew up listening to were lost forever except for the memories I had of hearing them. There was not a price I would not pay to hear one of those stories one more time in their voice.  My family lost the opportunity to preserve those priceless stories and experiences, but it is now my passion and goal to offer every family the chance to preserve the life experiences of their loved ones.

For instance, last month we had the opportunity to film a Veteran in North Carolina, who unexpectedly passed just a few days after filming. A valued customer of Valor, a family owned funeral home, requested that the production of this video be expedited to be revealed for the first time at his service. Valor rose to the challenge and hand delivered it within 24 hours in time for a viewing by his loved ones at the service.Of all of the gratitude and appreciation I receive from families, this is a memory I will never forget.

This along with other unforgettable moments is one of the very reasons Valor Productions was founded. The real value of preserving our loved ones’ stories is often not truly fully appreciated until they are no longer with us. This is why Valor provides a unique opportunity for all Veterans to share their story with their families and loved ones while they can.

2. KIM – Initially, Valor Productions seemed to focus on Veteran Reunions, as a target audience to record the stories of military service & history. However, can you share how your company has evolved to meet the ever-changing opportunities in the marketplace?

VP – When I founded Valor, our primary customers were military reunion coordinators and attendees. Doing this enabled us to develop and grow the Valor library, which includes pictures, declassified footage, maps, graphics, etc. that illustrate the stories told by our Veterans by bringing them to life in a production.

While it was always the goal of Valor to broaden the availability of the productions to all Veterans and their families, we were committed to meeting the demands of our existing customers by ensuring high quality productions with prompt turnaround times and deliveries. Valor’s growth now allows a wide variety of Veterans to participate in their own production, one that they and their families can cherish as well.

We feel confident that no matter where the Veterans have served, when they served, or in which branch they took part, Valor has the ability to make the stories and experience of our Veterans come to life with personal pictures along with access to our extensive library. Aside from working with our local Veterans directly, we are also partnering with experts in other fields, who also work and collaborate with Veterans such as attorneys, healthcare professionals, funeral homes, etc. to enhance the services they can offer Veterans as well.

3.  KIM – Are there times when a veteran is hesitant or reluctant to archive their experiences? Can you share an example or two, of powerful moments you’ve witnessed while a veteran is sharing & recording their military memories?

VP – Here are a few of the most common statements we hear at Valor probably once a week from family members. “We would love to have a video of dad but I doubt he would want to share his stories” or “I’ve asked mom about her service but she doesn’t want to talk about it.”

It’s important to remember that women have served our country proudly as well.

While I agree that there are some Veterans that may be apprehensive about discussing their military service, I have also heard several Veterans state that no one has truly asked, often simply because family members may not know how to start the conversation or may consider the Veteran to be cynical about their experiences. It is actually often the opposite, as Veterans take pride in recalling their stores – those of valor, those of fear, those of laughter, etc. Some even consider it therapeutic for themselves and a bonding moment with their families. After all, those were some of the most memorable and impressionable moments of our lives. It is also important to note that we rely on a questionnaire completed by the Veteran to guide the conversation. Only moments that he or she want to share are discussed, as we conduct the process with honor and respect.

A memorable example is of a Navy Corpsman who shared his experiences with passion, humor, and pain; he recalled stories of quickly adopting his position in the Navy by default but his excitement for the opportunity to save lives. He indicated in the end that he was going to use the video as a tool of healing to resolve any misunderstandings between him and his family then and now. Another example of a video we produced was of a couple who both served at the same time in World War II. She was a female Marine, and he was a sailor, and they recalled their journeys together as a couple through deployments – priceless.

No matter the content of the story, the most powerful moments are revealed when our Veterans begin sharing events that happened decades ago, and the clarity in which they recall these experiences is a direct indicator of their prevalence and importance to the Veterans themselves.

4. KIM – Is this service open & available to veterans of all ages? Can any service man/woman record their story? Or, is it only available for war time soldiers?   

VP – Valor welcomes and encourages Veterans of all eras and branches to share their experiences. Anyone who has served our country in any capacity at any time can attest that the experiences and friendships during our time in the military are unlike any other.  Whether we served for a single year or embarked on a thirty year career, peacetime or war, we believe that every Veteran has a story to tell and every Veteran’s story should be told.

Most of us served when we were young men or women, which often coincides with the time when we may have met our spouses, had children, transitioned into the civilian world, started a career, etc. Valor is not solely focused on preserving only war time stories. We are preserving the entire lives of our Veterans for their and their families and future generations. Even for Veterans that served during a war time, it is amazing how most enjoy sharing the “lighter” side of their experiences.

While most of our clients have ranged from World War II to Vietnam, we highly encourage Veterans of all ages to preserve their stories for their loved ones. It is my hope that Valor can begin offering services to Veterans of Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom as well.

5. KIM – As a decorated veteran yourself, have YOU recorded your story? For those that may be unsure of this process, please explain the details of a recording session. (example -How long does it take? Who asks the questions? Where is this recorded?)

VP – I absolutely felt compelled to record my personal experiences for my wife and family. I met my wife, Nicole, just 26 days before my first deployment to Iraq. What timing! Given that the unique experiences and challenges we faced while I was in the Marine Corps, I wanted to ensure preservation of our stories for the exact reason I founded Valor. Valor ensures our Veterans and their families have all questions answered.

We are committed to ensuring they feel as comfortable as possible before and during filming. Veterans can choose to come to our comfortable studio, where we film in a casual atmosphere, we also often film sessions at Veteran organizations such as VFW’s, Senior Residential Communities, Senior recreation centers, etc. Once a Veteran decides to preserve their experiences with Valor, they are provided with a questionnaire that serves as the blueprint of our filming session to guide only the topics the Veteran would like to share since it is their story after all.

Each session lasts roughly an hour and essentially entails a casual conversation with myself or another Valor producer. We then edit the film and place personal pictures, maps, graphics, footage, etc. into the video to help illustrate the Veteran’s story. Approximately three weeks after filming we deliver the final video on DVD.  We encourage Veterans and their families to watch our detailed process video outlining all the details at www.valorprod.com.

THANK YOU Aaron Cantley, U.S. Marine Corps veteran & Founder/CEO of Valor Productions. 

More importantly, Aaron – we THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE to our country.

ValorProductionsWebpage


Nasco

Dementia Q&A with Nasco; Senior Activities 

Wendy Lucht, Director of Sales & Marketing answers 5 KIM Questions

 http://www.enasco.com/

 

Fast & Friendly, the smart shoppers choice for 70 years!

Fast & Friendly, the smart shoppers choice for 70 years!

 1. KIM: NASCO began when an Agriculture teacher identified a gap in the available ‘tools’ for classrooms and has evolved into a ‘go-to’ resource for those of us seeking Activity ideas and aides for Seniors and those with Dementia. Can you share more details with our readers about the growth from Agriculture to the broad scope of educational resources you offer today?

 N: Nasco was started in 1941 by a vocational agricultural teacher,Norman Eckley. He developed several teaching aids to use in his vocational agriculture classes…teaching aids that were not readily available from any other source. This simple act of filling a classroom need with an appropriate product was to become a way of life for Nasco in years to come. Nasco currently has over 21 different catalogs offering over 96,000 unique items to meet the needs of teachers in 14 different educational subject areas, farmers and ranchers, activity directors, health care training and simulation and industry.  In addition to serving customers in all 50 states, Nasco’s unique blend of products for education, health care, agriculture, and industry appeals to customers in over 180 countries. Our mission is to provide customers with the best in quality, personal service, and affordably priced products. Nasco’s mail-order catalogs offer a convenient, inexpensive way for individuals in education, health care, agriculture, and industry to shop for the items they need.

2. KIM: In your opinion, who are the primary consumers that order from the Senior Activity catalog? Do you know that balance/percentage between Activity professionals vs. family care partners?

N: Nasco’s Senior Activities catalog primarily receives orders from activity professional working in nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, hospitals, rehab centers, VA’s , senior centers and adult day care facilities, but we also have individuals ordering items for a family member.

3. KIM: Can you share the top three selling items that are designed for those with Dementia?

N: The top three selling products (by sales volume) designed for individuals with dementia are:

 1) LauriR Lacing Shapes  (part # SB00841C)  2) Plumber’s Puzzle (part # 9718466C)  3) Original Activity Pillow (part # 9712388C)

4. KIM: Do the Senior Activities featured in the catalog change regularly? What is the NASCO process for introducing new items and conversely, do you ever discontinue product?

N: A new Senior Activities catalog is printed and distributed in February of each year. On the average, 200 new products are added to the catalog each year. Additional new products are also placed on Nasco’s website throughout the year after the printed catalog has been mailed. A Nasco committee looks at many potential new products each year, selecting those which are appropriate to the needs of seniors and activity directors. Products can be discontinued from the catalog at any time by the company we purchase them from when that product is no longer being produced. Products can also be discontinued from the catalog by Nasco at the end of the year of the catalog if that product is not selling well.

5. KIM: With 10,000 baby boomers a day turning 65 until the year 2029, does this impact or change your method for selecting catalog items? Do you anticipate this next generation engaging differently than their parents of today?

N: Yes, the impact of baby boomers turning 65 affects our selection of catalog products. In recent catalogs, we have been adding more products which promote exercise and fitness, products which relate to the 1950’s, 60’s and even ‘70’s. This includes memory/brain fitness products. We see this next generation as having a wider variety of interests in their activity pursuits. They want to continue to learn more skills such as using the computer and other devices or learning about a particular subject, which “Science for Seniors” promotes. Boomers also want to stay connected with their community, 

Thank You! Wendy Lucht, Sales & Marketing Director for Senior Activities & Special Education for NASCO

http://www.enasco.com/

 


Grind Dining

KIM Q&A with Grind Dining founding Chefs; Sarah Gorham & Stone Morris.   http://www.grinddining.com/    KIM – The Grind Dining method is revolutionizing the way food is delivered and enjoyed by those living with Dementia, in professional settings. Can you please share


Alzheimer’s Foundation of America – CEO Charles Fuschillo

Dementia Q&A with Charles Fuschillo, President & CEO, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.  http://www.alzfdn.org/    1. KIM – The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) was originally founded by a consortium of organizations to fill a  quality of care and service gap at


MindStart

KIM Q&A with MindStart   President Monica Heltemes  http://www.mind-start.com/ 1. KIM – You are an Occupational Therapist by trade, what prompted you to become a small business owner creating products for those with Dementia? Had you identified an un-met need in


JM Journeys

KIM Q&A with The Jewish Museum in NYC,  regarding JM Journeys; a unique art program for those with Dementia. http://www.thejewishmuseum.org/ KIM – Please share with the readers what the JM Journeys program is and how it began. Had your organization recognized an unmet need, in the marketplace?


My Vigorous Mind

A Brain Wellness & Social Networking program for Seniors Dementia Q&A with Yuval Malinsky, CEO of Vigorous Mind, Inc. and the creator of My Vigorous Mind program.http://www.vigorousmind.com/     1. KIM – Please give the readers an overview of your brain wellness program.  YM – My Vigorous


The Alzheimer’s/Dementia Hospital Wristband Project

Dementia Q&A with Gary Joseph LeBlanc; creator of the Alzheimer’s/Dementia Hospital Wristband Project:http://www.commonsensecaregiving.com/Wristband_Project.html    1. KIM – Please explain what the Wristband Project is; for those readers who may not be familiar with the program.  GJL – The premise is simple; the wristband project


Ombudsman

Dementia Q&A with Joan Schmitz, Regional Ombudsman with the Wisconsin Board on Aging in Long Term Care.http://www.ltcombudsman.org/ombudsman 1. KIM – Please Define Ombudsman. JS – The word, ‘Ombudsman’ (om-budz-man) is Scandinavian. In this country the word has come to mean an advocate or helper. An Ombudsman protects and


Second Wind Dreams Dementia Tour

Second Wind Dreams

KIM Q&A with  P.K Beville; Founder of Second Wind Dreams and the Virtual Dementia Tour www.secondwind.org 1. KIM – Please explain what the Virtual Dementia Tour is; for those readers who may not be familiar with this term/program. SWD – The Virtual Dementia Tour is