The founders of one of Kansas City’s celebrated small businesses are launching a new solution for dementia care: a curated, monthly subscription box full of themed engagement activities and tools designed to improve patients’ quality of life.
Prairie Elder Care’s Michala Gibson and Mandy Shoemaker originated the idea for the Connectivities subscription tool during the COVID-19 pandemic as rates of dementia engagement declined. Gibson is a Registered Nurse with nearly 25 years of experience in the senior living industry, while Shoemaker has spent eight years in memory care services and more than 20 in education.
“Our goal is to bridge the gap for caregivers by providing meaningful, mindful connections between loved ones and residents,” said Gibson. “Many times, for caretakers, the burden of planning overshadows their ability to truly engage. Connectivities delivers a solution that’s simple, purposeful and personal right to caretakers’ front doorsteps.”
Varying each month, the contents of Connectivities’ boxes will provide eight activities, including puzzles, games, arts and crafts, picture books and more. Subscribers are also granted access to an online community of support, which offers resources like monthly exercises and music therapy.
Click here to explore Connectivities’ boxes.
Connectivities is an offering of the new company Dementia Engagement Solutions. Gibson and Shoemaker’s Prairie Elder Care — which has offered a unique approach to high-quality Alzheimer’s and dementia care, providing residential care within small homes and a farmstead setting since 2014 — was named one of the KC Chamber’s Top 10 Small Businesses in 2020.
Click here to learn more about Prairie Elder Care in Overland Park.
The duo created Connectivities with the aim of reshaping the landscape of dementia care and providing new engagement opportunities for caretakers and their loved ones.
“As caregivers who have worked closely in memory care for years, we know how incredibly meaningful it is to have this quality time with loved ones,” said Shoemaker. “Our hope is that through easy access to shared, personalized activities, Connectivities can help foster those important moments for families, practitioners, and loved ones in their care.”
Click here to check out “Now is Found,” Gibson and Shoemaker’s 2021 book that defines their engagement model that focuses on community, connection and control.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.