Around The World With OCC: A Cognitive Engagement Experience
June 27, 2022

Oakwood Creative Care’s cognitive engagement class has booked a one-way ticket around the world! Over the last few months, members of Town Center Day Club have been virtually traveling through the continents, tracking their travels across South and Central America. Delana, one of Oakwood’s cognitive engagement specialists, has been pioneering this all-immersive experience with the help of some maps, videos, stickers, and even handmade passports!

Meet Delana, Oakwood’s Cognitive Engagement Specialist

Delana, Oakwood Creative Care's Cognitive Engagement Specialist

Delana has an associate degree in education and has worked in various teaching roles for 30 years. She is also certified as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and has taught English as a second language to children and adults. Delana says that teaching is her passion because “education is a means of empowering people to live their best life.” The desire to learn new things is innate in humans regardless of their age and circumstances, and Delana is thrilled that she can facilitate the learning process of Oakwood’s members with her cognitive classes.

Adventures Across The Globe

At the start of each class, members are given their own personal folders with maps of the world to guide their expeditions. As they venture onward, each member tracks the places they have visited by shading in the countries on their maps. To add a visual element to their experience, Delana pairs their travels with videos depicting some of the most common animals and landscapes found in their virtual surroundings. By the end of their excursions, Delana stamps each member’s passport with the official flag of the country from which they have spent the day visiting. 

Recently, Oakwood’s members ventured into the wild and evergreen rainforest. As they explored and became familiar with flora and fauna of nature’s tropical hotspot, Delana guided each member through creating an interactive painting mirroring the indigenous animals most often found in the forest’s landscape. Then, after watching videos all about the rainforest, each member added to the interactive painting by selecting animals from a sheet of stickers according to those they spotted on their screen.

Around the world travels with Oakwood's Cognitive Engagement Class

Why Is Cognitive Engagement Important?

Even after a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, their desire to learn, create, and feel connected to the world around them doesn’t go away. At Oakwood Creative Care, we believe in honoring our members’ personhood and reigniting their sense of purpose. Although their memories may fade, each person with dementia can still create meaningful connections and feel inspired by opportunities for lifelong learning. During our Cognitive Engagement Sessions, Oakwood Creative Care utilizes history, discussion, creative writing, storytelling, poetry, and philosophy to expand conversations, promote critical thinking, and increase memory retention. In addition, these sessions create a sense of community while increasing social interactions and the opportunities to express thoughts.

Snapshots Of Oakwood’s Travels:

Oakwood's Cognitive Engagement Class For Seniors With Dementia
Oakwood's Cognitive Engagement Class For Seniors With Dementia
Oakwood's Cognitive Engagement Class For Seniors With Dementia
Oakwood's Cognitive Engagement Class For Seniors With Dementia
Oakwood's Cognitive Engagement Class For Seniors With Dementia

Oakwood Creative Care is bringing back the JOY in aging because a diagnosis should not define your life. Click the button below to learn more about the research-based, cutting-edge, creative care model found at each of our Day Clubs.

OCC's Cognitive Engagement Class


We're a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona with three senior day club locations (and a fourth on the way) which serve older adults with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and various other physical or cognitive challenges. Life does not end with a diagnosis. Our members continue to learn new skills, enjoy new discoveries, make friends, laugh, and live a joy-filled life. Our team of dementia experts lead support groups, events, classes, and private sessions with caregivers and families, guiding them on the best methods to care for their loved ones while also caring for themselves.

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