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Meetings "The Power of Memory"

Meetings “The Power of Memory”


region – Evenmen organizes “Power of Memory” meetings. Meetings are about sharing experiences, memories and being together. Read how important meetings are for people with dementia and their informal carers.

Working together in a positive way, this is the idea behind the Evening Azkar Power meetings. Last year, three couples met six times at the Nauberhaus in Hellendoorn. Dirk Miedema describes the meeting atmosphere as relaxed. “We hear from others here about how they are coping with dementia.” His wife, Getty, was diagnosed with the disease about a year and a half ago. Dirk: “You're in a different environment here than you were at home, we've always enjoyed coming here. Sometimes it's very emotional at home, which is discussed here as well, but always with good humour.

Gerrit and Denny Zwiers are also excited. Gerrit was diagnosed with dementia about a year ago. It became clear during the meeting, which revolved around the topic of falling in love, that there was nothing wrong with his long-term memory. Gerrit was able to effortlessly recall memories of his encounter with Denny. “We walked up and down the Grotesttraat in Nijverdal, that's how it used to be. That's where I met Denny. Denny remembers it well, too. And then you looked together for a bench in the woods,” she says, laughing. They eventually got married in Noaperhus , where the meetings now took place. Coincidentally, it was exactly the same as Evenmen's idea that during the meeting they got married “again”, and the event was reenacted, among other things, with the wedding cake, the vows, and the wedding bouquet. “This wedding is the meeting I remember most.”

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To restore memories, counselors Margrethe Overkamp and Henriette Feinberg prepare objects from the past in advance. Think wooden spindles, reading boards and dominoes, but also ground coffee beans and music from years ago. Margaret: “It's those little things that can spark a positive feeling about the past. Because often there's nothing wrong with long-term memory.” Henriette adds: “It's precisely by working on topics that conversations start.” There are instant chat materials. This is what we start with in the first hour of the meeting. The informal caregivers then eat lunch separately from their partners. So that the two groups can share their experiences more specifically.

The fact that the meetings are always with the same group ensures more recognition. Margaret: “The first time, couples are often a bit nervous, during the second meeting they are more relaxed, and from the third meeting onwards sometimes really nice bonds are created.” This was also the case with this group. Gerrit and Jan Hoekgen were almost at each other's necks during the third meeting. Gerrit: “I didn't know Jan at all before these meetings. But a connection has been completely established. We go through the same things and I get along well with him.” “You're in the same boat, so you're gradually getting closer to each other,” adds Denny. “You're getting to know each other's situation.” Some.

Contact with fellow patients. This is one of the main reasons why people sign up for these meetings. This also applies to informal caregivers. Dirk: “You hear others talking about how things are going at home. For example, sometimes Jette can't come up with a certain concept, and we've also seen that with others. Sometimes others also have 'words to each other' because of the situation.” She received Denny also has advice from other informal caregivers.

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What is particularly striking, according to Evenmins consultants, is that everyone is very open during meetings. Gerrit: “I can say everything I want to say here and people understand it. We can trust each other. I'm allowed to be emotional here.” And that's exactly the power of meetings. Dirk: “Some people are ashamed of dementia, but as a partner of someone with dementia, you have to… Sometimes you persevere. I would definitely recommend these meetings.” Denny agrees: “You've been sitting with your partner all day, and this is something different. In fact, we have become so close that we would like to meet again at each other's homes.

More information about the power of memories? Then take a look at the site These meetings are offered throughout the Evenmen business area. Or call 0548638830 for more information.