Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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Member Spotlight

Here are some happenings from AFA member/associate member organizations across the nation:


The Jewish MuseumA recent JM Journeys session
Jewish Museum Presents JM Journeys

For the past three years, the Jewish Museum, located in New York City, has offered a monthly program for individuals with dementia and their caregivers, JM Journeys.

JM Journeys enables participants to make personal connections with original works of art through discussions, art-making, and multi-sensory activities. The program, which is open to the public, is facilitated by Jewish Museum educators in the galleries and art studio.


Alzheimer's Services of the Capital Area Hosts 21st Annual Education Conference

Alzheimer's Services of the Capital Area, Baton Rouge, La., hosted its 21st Annual Education Conference on Alzheimer's Disease: "Discovering Gems in Alzheimer's Disease" in Baton Rouge, La. on March 18. Renowned dementia expert Teepa Snow delivered the keynote address.


Alzheimer's Smith CountyA volunteer (r.) and client on Wonderful Wednesday.
'Wonderful Wednesdays' With the Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County

Clients at Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County, Tyler, Tex., look forward to mid-week! Through the "Wonderful Wednesdays Day Club," the organization's volunteers are paired with clients—aka "best friends"—for the day to learn the person's life story and participate in activities together.

On January 8, for example, "Wonderful Wednesday" featured a "Get Fit" theme, focusing on healthy food choices, exercise, socializing, and other tips to help keep the body and soul fit.


Thelma's PlaceThelma's Place attendees have
a blast during an
indoor "snowball fight."
Member Organizations Offer Holiday Cheer

Several of AFA's member organizations in various states hosted creative celebrations this holiday season. Among them, Thelma's Place, Canby, Ore., created fake snowballs and had an indoor snowball fight.

Back east, Silver Fox Senior Social Club, Baldwinsville, N.Y., took an artistic approach to seasonal festivities, making crafts with children from Elden Elementary School.

In Milwaukee, Wis., clients at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care Inc. performed for their families, staff and community friends at a Christmas Concert.

Attendees of the day program at Respite Care Charleston (S.C.) enjoyed a visit from Santa himself.



Alzheimer's / Dementia Connection of HacasuAlzheimer's/Dementia Connection of Havasu Board Members
Alzheimer's/Dementia Connection of Havasu Holds Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Alzheimer's/Dementia Connection of Havasu in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., held a heartfelt "Tree of Reflection Lighting Ceremony" on December 1 that brought together the organization's board and staff, and the community.

Held for the seventh year, the ceremony honors and remembers loved ones affected by Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia through stars placed on the Tree of Reflection.

Among those who spoke at the ceremony was Michele Kirkpatrick, a volunteer, who shared how her mother's battle with Alzheimer's disease taught her to find the silver lining in every situation.


New York University Student Captures the Impact of Arts & Minds on Camera

A New York University student recently turned the lens on Arts & Minds, a New York nonprofit organization that engages individuals with dementia and their caregivers in artwork at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

The video captures the essence of the organization as it follows the participation of a couple, who have been married 47 years, and the impact the program has had on their quality of life.


Alzheimer's Family Services Center Introduces "Women of One Mind"

Alzheimer's Family Services Center, Huntington Beach, Calif., recently introduced a new all-female ambassador group: "Women of One Mind."

The goal of this new group is to build awareness of the challenges related to Alzheimer's disease and to bring attention to the resources and support available to female caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease.



Caregiving Youth Director Nominated as 2012 CNN Hero

Congratulations to Connie Siskowski, RN, Ph.D., director of the Caregiving Youth Project (CYP), a program of the American Association of Caregiving Youth, Boca Raton, FL on her nomination as a 2012 CNN Hero, a year-long initiative that honors everyday people who are changing the world.

CYP, the first program of its kind in the nation, provides direct services to children who care for ill, disabled or elderly family members, including skills building classes and support groups in school, recreational outings, and connecting families with resources.

As a former child caregiver herself, Siskowski has a special understanding of the unique challenges these young people face. Click here to view her story.


New York State's First Memory Arts Café Opens in Brooklyn

New York Memory Center and the Alzheimer's Poetry Project, both Brooklyn-based organizations, in June unveiled a new Memory Arts Café that offers free arts events for people living with Alzheimer's disease, their caregivers and the general public.

Building on the Alzheimer's Café movement in Europe that started in 1997, the Memory Arts Café places the creativity of people navigating cognitive impairment at the project's core. The goal is to provide education, empowerment and energy—offering residents a place for personal enrichment.

The free series takes place on the second Wednesday of each month, and includes light refreshments and the opportunity to chat with the guest artists. It is funded in part by a grant from AFA.


AFA Members Receive MetLife Foundation's Creativity and Aging in America Leadership Award

The MetLife Foundation in March awarded its Creativity and Aging in America Leadership Award to two AFA members out of three state-of-the-art programs recognized in each health and wellness, lifelong learning and community engagement.

The AFA member recipients are:

Alzheimer's Poetry Project, Brooklyn, NY, for "Community Engagement"--Founded in 2004 by poet Gary Glazner, the mission of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project (APP) is to facilitate the creativity of people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. APP offers on-line training for artists, family members, healthcare workers and teachers, and works to serve people from various cultural backgrounds. The organization has provided programming to more than 10,000 people with Alzheimer's disease in 22 states, Germany and Poland.

Songwriting Works Educational Foundation, Port Townsend, WA, for "Health and Wellness"--Founded by Judith-Kate Friedman, Songwriting Works programs give elders and their loved ones full access to the proven health benefits—and the unique empowering artistic experience—of collectively composing and performing original music. Professional musicians with exemplary teaching skills facilitate SW's Signature Songwriting workshops and Community MusicTeams, where participants compose songs and then perform together.