Special fishing trip for local man with memory loss

Published: Oct. 12, 2017 at 8:11 PM CDT
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For many diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, outdoor activities and hobbies take a back seat to round the clock care, but a program at Azura Memory Care in Eau Claire is helping to give many of them a chance to live their old lives again, at least for a day.

"What did you get for bait?

From the moment John Walked in our door, we knew we needed to do something more for him. He loved to be outdoors.

John, you ready? John, do you want to go fast? Doesn't make any difference.You like to go fast though right? I'm used to it... You gotta get there.

John is 61 years old, he has early onset dementia and he is a big hunter and fisherman.

John, I even got you a pole from Scheels. Scheels donated this to you. John Did you understand that? This is your pole.

Early onset dementia is a bit more rare. It means someone is diagnosed before age 65.

They got bass out here? You like to catch bass? Anything that bites.

Should we do this together?

What I think the best part is and you saw it today with John. The first time you put the pole in his hand, it was a little clumsy. But then it came back and he was able to reel just like he normally always did.

When you give them the proper supports and you set it up in a way that's an experience, they start to talk better. How's your depthfinder saying?

The memories come flooding back, you hear parts of their life story that you hadn't heard before.

When we went to Canada, their were some muskies up there, but you don't see a lot of them. It's just a matter of hitting those places that the companies, they tell you where they're at. They want you to come visit.

This is, yes, a disease that no one can control and nobody wants, but on the same token, we can help them feel better. We can give them smiles and joy and to know that for this moment, he feels like he's him again. That's so important. That's so amazing to be able to do that."