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"It's a Godsend": Baker Senior Center Naples hosts groups for people who live with dementia

Posted at 8:20 AM, Jul 10, 2024

NAPLES, Fla. — As people age, it becomes important to have places to socialize. That's even more true for those living with Alzheimer's and dementia. The Baker Senior Center Naples is a day facility and many people who use it say it's changing their lives for the better.

Sharon Knickle is cares for her husband who is living with dementia. She says sometimes when they sit together and talk about the old days, he may mix up details of things they did together in the past.

"It's a Godsend": Baker Senior Center Naples hosts groups for those living with dementia

The Baker Senior Center Naples is about 2 years old, but a lot of the programming is new.

"It's a godsend really, because I didn't know what I'd do without the center," she said.

Dementia affects cognitive abilities like memory and a persons ability to think. At times it can be dangerous and even heartbreaking, causing people living with it to wander off or say things they don't mean. A journey Knickle can speak to.

"You have to have to try to cope with that yourself but when you come here, you don't have to cope alone," she said.

"It's a Godsend": Baker Senior Center Naples hosts groups for those living with dementia

BSCN supports about 2,000 elders and their caretakers. Jaclynn Faffer is the CEO and President of the center. She says the center offers up a space for mealtimes, to play instruments, and find friendship. She saw a need for this service in Naples.

"Every program that we have is to combat isolation and that's the thread that runs through it all," Faffer said.

Knickle says her husband looks forward to the activities at the center. She says it grants her a sense of peace, knowing he is safe and enjoying himself when she needs a moment to herself.