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Baseball Memories Program aims to help people with memory loss using America's pastime

Rob and Jennifer Blough
Posted at 3:55 PM, May 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-15 15:55:18-04

CLEVELAND — There's nothing more memorable than a perfect day at a baseball game, watching your favorite team while taking in all the sights and sounds of the ballpark—and that's exactly what a new program is using to help people with memory loss.

Introduced by the Alzheimer's Association Cleveland Area Chapter, the Baseball Memories Program aims to bring out long-term memories in patients with dementia using baseball.

For the Blough family, it's working.

Rob Blough, a die hard Tribe fan, and his wife Jennifer, who roots for the Cubs, went head to head in their fandom back in 2016 as their teams faced off in the World Series, with Rob being the one left heartbroken in the end.

"It was incredible until the Indians lost and it wasn't so incredible anymore," Rob said.

But despite the negative outcome for Cleveland, Rob is clinging onto that memory and hoping that it will help him with his memory loss caused by Alzheimer's disease.

Rob is a participant in the Baseball Memories Program where he and Jennifer chat with other participants and share their fondest baseball memories with each other.

"It's great to just be with others and just smile and laugh and enjoy common interests," Jennifer said.

From playing the classic song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," to presentations about famous players in baseball history, the Baseball Memories Program attempts to spur up discussion and bring up positive memories sounding America's pastime.

"The idea behind this program is to share stories that will trigger positive experiences that people have surrounding the topic of baseball," said Mary Ertle, program manager at Cleveland Alzheimer Association.

The next Baseball Memories Program is scheduled for May 25. To register for the program, contact Ertle at mertle@alz.org or 216-342-5607

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