Alzheimer/Parkinson program at Museum begins Sept. 7

VERO BEACH — The Vero Beach Museum of Art, in partnership with the Alzheimer and Parkinson Association of Indian River County, offers a community engagement program called Afternoon at the Museum for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, as well as for their caregivers.

The weekly program will be held every Thursday beginning Sept. 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and continues through May 2012. Space is limited, and advance registration is required.

Now in its fourth year, Afternoon at the Museum provides a specialized visual arts experience for participants that involves gallery viewing, facilitated conversation, guided and open art-making activities in a safe and nurturing environment. Art is used as the basis and inspiration for the program because viewers can participate without prior knowledge, can engage at different levels, and may make emotional connections to what they experience.

This unusual program utilizes a combination of artist/licensed mental health professional and a team of specially trained museum docents to adjust each activity to the individual abilities of participants.

“This program touches everyone,” says J. Marshall Adams, Director of Education at the Museum. “It is gratifying to see the engagement and the effect the interactions have on program participants, but what really strikes everyone involved is how it affects all of us – staff, volunteers, everyone. This is work that is so challenging and rewarding, and so appreciated. It is a beautiful illustration of why art matters in our community.”

One participant noted, “As a care manager I know how valuable this program is for my client. He is speaking, smiling and at times even laughs. These are things he rarely exhibits. He looks forward to coming to the Museum.”

To register, contact Carole at the Alzheimer and Parkinson Association of Indian River County, 2300 5th Avenue Suite 150 in Vero Beach at (772) 563-0505.

For other information about this program, contact Shanti Sanchez at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, (772) 231-0707, ext. 117.



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