2017 AHC/NCAL Annual Convention & Expo

Harnessing the Power of Digital Photography in a Memory Care Setting

Tuesday, October 17
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Mandalay Bay Ballroom C
CE: Nurses: 0.0 | NAB: 1.0

People with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias sometimes struggle to express what they’re thinking, how they feel, and when they experience pain—it’s as if they have been stripped of their thoughts, opinions, and overall dignity. Utilizing the creative willpower of our memory care residents and the technology of digital cameras, we created a unique photography program that has had a positive impact on our residents, families, and the entire state of Hawaii.

The Plaza Photovoice Project starts by teaching our residents, most of whom have never touched a camera, how to take photographs. We let them photograph whatever their hearts desire—their friends, food, flowers, and pets, and even “selfies.” Guided by reminiscence therapy techniques and the “photovoice” process, the artists then engage in dynamic discussions about their impressive photographs.

The beauty of this project is that regardless of the residents’ ability to speak or form sentences, when a camera is put in their hands, their “voice” returns. We display these powerful images, along with accompanying titles and descriptions, in our communities, and our residents take pride in showing them to their families and friends.

We have continued this program at our five communities in Hawaii, and we continuously create traveling exhibitions for the public to enjoy. Through the unique perspectives of our older adults, we hope to raise awareness about the talents and creativity of our aging populations and change negative perceptions around Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This conference presentation will inspire others to explore innovative ways of “treating” disease, especially when working with people of different cultures, languages, and cognitive abilities, and will also make a case for the negative impact of ageism on health and well-being.

Learning Objectives:

Colby Takeda

The Plaza Assisted Living

Colby is the Administrator of The Plaza Assisted Living at Waikiki. His involvement in senior healthcare, his passion for youth mentorship, and his public health background drives him to be an advocate for the “bookend generations”—connecting our youngest and oldest populations for stronger intergenerational relationships and developing age-friendly communities. Colby recently co-authored a children’s book titled “It’s Just Aging,” and is a board member of Kaho'omiki, the Hawaii Council of Physical Activity & Nutrition, and the Hawai'i Public Health Association.

Colby attended Willamette University for his undergraduate studies, the University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business for his graduate studies in business administration, and the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health for his graduate studies in public health.


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Sasha Dimond

Activity Director
The Plaza Assisted Living

Sasha Dimond is the Activity Director at The Plaza at Waikiki. Everyday, she works with the residents to create fun and stimulating activities to meet their physical, creative, and emotional needs. She especially enjoys finding opportunities for the residents to learn new skills, engage in community service, and build intergenerational relationships with youth.

Prior to joining The Plaza at Waikiki, Sasha was the Activity Director at The Plaza at Mililani. While at our Mililani community, she led a strong activities department and in 2014, was awarded a Sodexo grant to create an aquaponics program for the residents to grow their own vegetables. Sasha continues to develop dynamic programs at The Plaza at Waikiki and was a part of the development of the Hali`a Memory Care Program established in 2016. She is a certified Best Friends Approach Master Trainer and trains new employees.

Sasha graduated from St. Francis School in Honolulu and attended Seattle University in Washington state, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in forensic psychology.


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Harnessing the Power of Digital Photography in a Memory Care Setting


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