Early Stage Program
The Arts Fusion Early Stage Program provides opportunities for persons in the early stages of Alzheimer's and related dementias, and their caregivers, to participate in docent-led discussions of museum and gallery exhibits. This social outing is modeled on the nationally recognized museum-based program Meet Me at MoMA. As the program develops, it will include opportunities for participants to attend live theater and musical performances at local venues. Click here to find out more about the Alzheimer’s Association Early Stage Initiative.
Memory Care Program
The Arts Fusion Memory Care Program coordinates a team of trained arts specialists who organize sessions for residential facilities in each region. Arts Fusion Specialists are encouraged to integrate a variety of art forms into their sessions. They may focus on one kind of art, or they may incorporate elements from more than one art discipline. Dance sessions may include storytelling, visual arts may incorporate music, and guided imagery sessions may involve tactile experiences. Our mission is to create an environment that promotes intellectual, physical, and social stimulation for persons at all stages of dementia.
Participants will engage in a discussion while viewing printed copies of famous artworks. Theme-based questions are designed to promote interaction between group participants. There is no such thing as a “wrong” answer! Some programs include a small art-making component.
Art-making provides a means for self-expression. Participants will join in individual or group projects that are designed to promote positive self-esteem. Emphasis is placed on the process of creating, and participants are encouraged to talk about what they are making. Participants have the opportunity to share their finished pieces with the group at the end of each session.
Music-making is physically and emotionally stimulating and is a great way of reaching and encouraging group interaction. Some participants will prefer singing, while others may enjoy an opportunity to play music. In addition to listening to and playing music, participants are encouraged to share memories and stories associated with the program’s musical selections.
Stretch, Movement, and the Art of Relaxation
The joy of movement is experienced through stretching, strengthening, awareness of breathing, and laughter. Stretch yoga and Tai Chi techniques emphasizing coordination and balance will be tailored to each participant's level of mobility. The mastery of each movement challenges cognition, builds self-confidence, and promotes relaxation.
Participants will have fun dancing to familiar tunes while exercising balance and coordination. Participants may dance while seated, standing with a chair for balance, or standing without assistance. Participants are encouraged to share memories and stories associated with music and dance.
Massage, Music, and Aromatherapy
Our goal is to reach people in all stages of dementia, so we are offering this program to participants who are unable to participate in other sessions. Participants will have a brief but concentrated ten minute hand/arm massage while listening to soft, soothing music. Scented oils used during the massage will encourage relaxation. This is an individualized program in which the therapist visits with the participants one-on-one in a quiet, designated area.
This program, inspired by the work of Gary Glazner, founder of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, engages participants through rhyme, rhythm, and humor. The facilitator recites verses by well-known poets, calling on participants to respond by repeating the line or sharing a story. Later, participants create a poem together based on a theme.
Nature to Nurture
This nature-based program is a multi-sensory experience. Participants will identify sounds of nature while viewing pictures of outdoor scenes. They will handle various natural mediums (soil, seeds, foliage), smell herbs and flowers, and taste seasonal foods. Creative expression will be encouraged through a nature-based craft.