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Creating Meaningful Connections


Article by Hilary Tichota

Photography by The Night of Hope

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Dementia is a condition that touches the lives of countless families, presenting unique challenges and uncertainties. In our quest to understand how to enhance the lives of individuals living with dementia and their caregivers, we had the privilege of sitting down with Mandy Shoemaker, the co-author and founder of Prairie Elder Care and Connectivities. Mandy's pioneering work has transformed the landscape of dementia care, emphasizing the profound impact of meaningful engagement.

Prairie Elder Care: Elevating Residential and In-Home Care Services

Prairie Elder Care is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complex journey of dementia care. Offering both residential care services and innovative in-home care options, they provide a nurturing environment where individuals can flourish. With a deep commitment to person-centered care, they prioritize the unique needs and preferences of each resident.

Mandy shared with us her passion for fostering an environment that promotes independence and dignity. "Our approach is rooted in empathy and respect," she explained. "We see individuals, not just patients, and we strive to create a sense of home and belonging."

Connectivities: Bridging the Gap Through Engaging Activities

One of the most remarkable facets of Prairie Elder Care's mission is Connectivities, a program that offers a lifeline of engagement and connection for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Mandy's insights into the program's philosophy were truly enlightening.

"Connectivities is about celebrating the journey," Mandy said with a smile. "We often hear about the importance of 'doing' in dementia care, but we place equal emphasis on 'being.' It's not about the end product; it's about the process and the connection."

Connectivities provides a treasure trove of activities and resources that cater to a wide range of interests and needs. Whether it's crafting, storytelling, or enjoying the therapeutic benefits of music and art, these activities are designed to ignite sparks of joy and unlock memories.

The Power of Connection Over Dementia

Mandy's message is clear: individuals with dementia are not defined by their condition. Through meaningful engagement, they can experience moments of profound connection and joy. It's a message that resonates deeply with caregivers who often find solace in these shared experiences.

"We encourage caregivers to join in the activities," Mandy noted. "It's not just about 'caring for' but 'caring with.' In these moments, you see the person behind the dementia, and that's truly powerful."

Accessing Connectivities Resources

For those seeking to embark on this transformative journey, Connectivities offers a wealth of resources. Their website,, is a hub of inspiration and guidance. From activity ideas to informative articles, it's a valuable tool for both caregivers and professionals.

In Conclusion

Our conversation with Mandy Shoemaker left us inspired and enlightened. Prairie Elder Care and Connectivities are beacons of hope, offering a holistic approach to dementia care that centers on meaningful engagement and connection. As we navigate the complexities of dementia, let us remember Mandy's words: "It's not about the end product; it's about the process and the connection." Through their innovative programs and unwavering dedication, Mandy and her team are helping individuals with dementia and their caregivers create a tapestry of beautiful moments, one connection at a time.

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