Dementia project – Toom

With described video



Toom: I like to work.

Tarn: She likes to work.

Toom: For Dumpling Drop. They're my favourite.

Tarn: To help me out?

Toom: Helping out, yes.

Tarn: When we found out that my mom had early onset Alzheimer's, she lost her job.

(Tarn Tayanunth and her mother, Toom, give an interview in Tarn's restaurant, Dumpling Drop.)

Tarn: When she lost her job, she lost her confidence. She started to be depressed, so we tried to do something to keep her memory going.

I think it's really important for people with Alzheimer's to have a routine and a purpose in life.

So, we had her start help rolling dumplings.

(They shop at a market.)

Toom: Everybody who works with me, they know. They take good care of me.

They talk to me slowly, and when sometimes I don't understand that, they explain to me.
Yeah, very helpful. Like family.

I'm happy. They take me out for lunch. We can go shopping, something like that. Once in a while. If they're not busy, we get together. Yeah.

(Tarn puts out an "open" sign.)

Tarn: She'll call me every morning and be like, "Do you need help? Can I come and help today?" I think it's just something for her to look forward to.

It gives her a little spark sometimes when she realizes how successful we've become. And she helped me, too. She's a big part of that.

She's the inspiration for how Dumping Drop started, so it's really, really great.

She's getting really, really good. And really fast.

Toom: It's a part of my life, Dumping Drop. I'm very happy.

(They chat while making dumplings.)

Tarn: When my mom got diagnosed, the doctor just said to keep her busy.

If she gets depressed, she'd just sink so fast from that. So we tried to do some things together as a family.

It's hard to juggle all this and taking care of her, but I've had help from my dad.

It takes a lot out of him.

We're trying to make as many memories together right now.

(The dumplings cover a large baking sheet.)

Tarn: We have a big group of staff that help out, and we've also been getting a lot of Thai staff members. So it's kind of nice… She can speak Thai and, you know, talk about stories. They listen to Thai music. Sometimes they turn on a Thai TV show.

I think it's really important.

(The Government of Canada logo appears.)

Narration: A message from the Government of Canada.

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