Interactive Display Sparks Memories for 96-Year-Old

Virginia Myers has a lifelong passion for collecting dolls that started as a young child with her first “Dream Baby” and blossomed in the 1970s with her first Sasha Doll.

The 96-year-old grew her collection into the hundreds and even designed, sewed and sold clothes for the dolls for many years. At one point, she had one of the biggest collections of Sasha Dolls in the United States.

Myers, now a resident of HarborChase of the Park Cities continues to attend the Sasha Doll Festival with her daughter Brenda Myers each year, but as she ages, certain memories start to fade.

To help Virginia Myers recall memories associated with her dolls, HarborChase of the Park Cities, a community of luxury senior residences, has dedicated a life station to Myers featuring photos, articles, and dolls from her collection.

The station was recently created near her apartment in the Sound, a floor in the community designed for seniors with mild cognitive impairment.

“It is fascinating to see Virginia’s dolls and memorabilia, and the fact she still attends the Sasha Doll Festival each year amazes me,” said Molly Meyer, life enrichment director at HarborChase of the Park Cities.

The Sound is a unique “community within a community” that is custom designed as a setting for those with mild cognitive impairment. The Sound offers research-based programming tailored to the level of need of each resident. The programs positively benefit residents in need of additional specialized services by compassionately focusing on each resident’s interests, abilities, and strengths.

Meyer said changing the stations benefits the residents and encourages them to socialize and stimulate their senses by touching the different objects and seeing the items in the displays.

“Although there is no cure for progressive dementia, at HarborChase of the Park Cities, this is one way we can make a difference for those living with mild memory loss,” she said. “We can’t wait to see how this station benefits Virginia.”

Brenda Myers said she believes the station will help bring back her mother’s memories of her doll collection and the friendships she formed over the years attending the festivals.

“I know having her dolls on display with past articles and photos will bring a smile to her face, and hopefully it will encourage her to tell stories from her past,” she said. “She passed her love of dolls on to me and my siblings. My sister also collected, designed and sewed clothes, and shared fabrics that my mom used for the dolls’ clothing. I also started going to festivals with them. We all really bonded over the dolls. I am happy to see the dolls still bring her joy and may spark memories for other residents as well.”

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is the managing editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People. She curates special sections for People Newspapers like the fall and spring society special sections and 20 Under 40, as well as Faith and Living Well print content, daily web posts, and social media. With a strong background in community journalism, she believes that a city’s arts and entertainment scene is one that should be loved and supported. From luncheons to galas to museum openings and on and off-Broadway revivals, you can find her out and about on Instagram at Bianca_TBD. She also can be reached at [email protected]

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