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Tue., Aug. 7, 2012, 1:29 p.m.

Work for the ages

aegis of Bellevue memory care 
tony wadden   (Photo Wadden / The Spokesman-Review)
aegis of Bellevue memory care tony wadden (Photo Wadden / The Spokesman-Review)

In my story today, I wrote about the memory care unit at Aegis of Bellevue which has incorporated cutting edge innovations to help its Alzheimer's residents.

The unit features several work stations where residents can "return" to the work they once did.

People with dementia often retain long-term memories of the work that organized their younger years, whether the work was inside or outside the home. A fake but realistic looking washer and dryer – baby onesies hanging on the line – evoke laundry day for some of the women. The unit is also home to two eerily real-looking baby dolls. They cost $700 each and are often bottle fed by both male and female residents. Military uniforms, suit jackets and a rack of ties allow men to dress again for work, calling forth memories of their career years.

Personally, I can't imagine being hunched over a computer all day if I end up in a memory care unit, but maybe I'll walk around with a tape recorder, interviewing.

What work would you likely recreate?

(Tony Wadden photo)

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.