It began with simply holding hands. Today, Morton and Misty are an OPICA fixture, participating in activities together or relaxing side-by-side on the patio swing.
Morton began coming to OPICA in 2013. Always pleasant and rarely agitated, he was content observing activities from the sidelines. When asked to join in he’d politely decline, “No, thank you, I’m happy sitting outside.” He could be cajoled for lunch and afternoon music but more often than not he would be back on the patio. Enter Misty, a very attractive woman, impeccably dressed including special attention to her hair and make-up. Living in Los Angeles over 50 years, Misty was still of the mind-set that there is just one city to live, Manhattan.
Misty first came to OPICA as a member of OPICA’s Brain Train, a program for early stage memory loss, and didn’t meet Morton until she transitioned to join the Adult Day Program. Misty was becoming more withdrawn, often complaining of stomach pains and headaches. While previously interested in the music and exercise programs she seemed no longer excited to come to OPICA.
Since finding each other, Morton and Misty spend most their time together. Misty’s attendance is more consistent and her physical complaints have decreased, while Morton participates in exercises and activities even if Misty isn’t attending on that particular day.
That two people become fast friends while attending OPICA isn’t that uncommon. What makes Misty and Morton’s story special is that their friendship has expanded beyond OPICA’s Adult Day Program. With the help and participation of their families, they’ve gotten together on the weekends for coffee, a dinner and recently went to the theater.
We all understand the healing power of love regardless of age but the special relationship that’s developed between Misty and Morton goes further. It validates OPICA’s overriding message, that while our loved ones may undergo changes with the progression of dementia they are still capable of finding joy in life.
We are happy that Misty and Morton have found each other, each allowing the other to be his
or her better self, we’re also grateful that both Misty and Morton were single at the time.
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