With a high population of residents in their golden years, it’s fortunate Mesquite is now being serviced by a Southern Utah non-profit group, Memory Matters.
Under the direction of David Moore, who was instrumental in bringing the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser to Mesquite, Memory Matters is an organization that reduces isolation and improves wellness for older individuals with dementia and their caretakers.
“It’s a service that is needed by many families in Mesquite and the surrounding areas,” said Moore. “We want to help them in ways that other organizations can’t.”
In March 2012 Memory Matters Utah, formally known as the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society, was formed by LuAnn Lundquist, a licensed Therapeutic Recreational Technician. “With the help of volunteers and the generous support of donors, we are able to walk alongside those who are navigating the difficult path of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and give encouragement and support to their caregivers,” she said.
Memory Matters has several services available to patients and their caregivers. Although they are based out of St. George, Utah, they are committed to helping their neighbors in Mesquite, the Arizona Strip and even the Moapa Valley, if needed. Some of those services include support groups, care consultation and memory testing consultation.
Their largest support feature is the Wellness Calling Program, where “trained volunteers make daily calls to persons with memory loss who live alone or caregivers who have health conditions and care for a loved one with dementia.” The calls are confidential and are pre-directed by the patients. A phone call in the morning is made each day to check on the patient and evaluate their well-being.
As a nonprofit organization, Memory Matters thrives off of contributions from donors and fundraisers. Their current fundraiser is Daffodils by the Bunch. For just $10, a contributor will receive a bouquet of 10 daffodils. There are also half and full boxes available sold by special request. Altogether, an expected 15,000 daffodils are to be sold in the region. The daffodil is the first flower of spring and is the symbol of remembrance and hope. According to their website, daffodils contain galantamine, which is an extract used in the treatment of early stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Sales for the flowers will continue through March 10 and may be ordered by calling Moore at 435-319-0407 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southern Utah Art Guild is also hosting artwork by several of Memory Matters FUN ART participants as part of their Spring Forward program on March 3 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Red Cliff Art Gallery, 220 N. 200 East, St. George. “Having the public support this art showing will help reduce the stigma of Alzheimer’s and related diseases. While they have lost so much with this disease, this is something that they gain,” said Lundquist.
Additional information on Memory Matters’ services are available at their website, www.memorymattersutah.org.