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Early Stage Social Engagement Program
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Thank Goodness it's Friday
Early Stage Social Engagement Program
Fridays 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Alzheimer's Association Fort Worth

Alzheimer's Association
2630 West Freeway, Suite 100
Fort Worth  76133

See weekly schedule of activities below

The Alzheimer's Association also has support groups and education programs for caregivers and early stage support groups for people with early stage dementia and their care partners.

For more information, call Lisa Buck at 817-336-4949 or email lisa.buck@alz.org

The Early Stage Social Engagement Program, aka “The Friday Group” meets every Friday to socialize and participate in activities that flex different cognitive and physical abilities.  The informal weekly gathering of people meets at the Alzheimer’s Association Fort Worth office as a way to stay socially and mentally engaged, find support and make new friends.  There is no charge to participate.

Each week, Alzheimer's Association staff and volunteers facilitate conversations and activities around a given theme. The emphasis is on engagement, camaraderie and amusement through conversation, sensory experiences and play.  Often, the group will listen to music, look at images, watch video clips of every sort, do a simple craft, or play a game.  A video projector connected to the internet allows the group to look up facts, play a favorite song, or otherwise search anything and everything that comes to mind.  Topics tend to be very general, allowing for improvisation and spontaneity, and are usually fairly lighthearted.

Participants should have mild cognitive impairment or early stage Alzheimer’s or other dementia and to be able to express themselves verbally and participate the give and take of normal conversation.  Caregivers are welcome to leave their family member and take time for themselves (they must sign a waiver of liability) or stay and participate in the day’s activities.  The mix of people with different interests and abilities is one of the strengths of this friendly, spontaneous group.

Friday friends gather for a picnic in Trinity Park

The Friday Group Schedule of Activities

Topics and activities are subject to change at any time.     FALL 2014       September 5, 2014
Comic Relief
In honor of the late, great Robin Williams, who died August 11, and his good friend Jonathan Winters, who died in April of this year, the Friday Group will look back at video and movie clips of these comic geniuses.  No doubt, they’ll remind us of other funny people and we’ll be able to look those up too.  If you have a favorite comedian, be prepared to share and let’s have some laughs.       September 12, 2014
Antiques Road Show
Everybody owns something old and treasured, something they’ve kept all these years because of its personal or sentimental value or just because it’s cool.  In this adult version of show and tell, everybody brings a special personal possession to share with the group.  We’ll be able to look up some of the items on eBay and see what they are and what they’re worth.        September 19, 2014
The Wild West
The Friday Group steps back in time to the late 1800s to enjoy images, history and stories of the American Frontier.  We’ll look at paintings of the Wild West by Frederick Remington and Charles M. Russell, photographs by Edward Curtis, film clips from favorite westerns and more.       September 26, 2014
Parenthood
This is the day when we get to talk about our kids and what kinds of parents we were.  What did you enjoy most?  What were the biggest challenges? What was the funniest thing your child ever did or said?  Bring pictures, of course!        October 3, 2014
Fall in the Botanic Garden
Enjoy October’s glorious weather with a stroll in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.  We’ll lay out our picnic blankets on the lawn near the rose garden and go exploring in small groups, or just sit.  If the weather is nasty, we’ll meet at the Conservatory instead.       October 10, 2014
The American Frontier, Continued 
In September, we looked at paintings by the great artists of the western frontier—Remington, Russell and others—and saw where we first got our romantic notions about the Wild West. Now, we’ll look at the Twentieth Century’s love affair with the West, including singing cowboys, some of the longest running television shows ever, and the great Hollywood cowboys.   October 17, 2014
Painting Exploration
You don’t need to be an artist or even to have ever painted to enjoy painting with watercolors. If it’s paint on paper, it’s a painting, and every mark has its own beauty.  Painting from photographs and memory, we will take a creative journey. WEDNESDAY, October 22
Cliburn in the Community
A very special concert brought to us by the Cliburn Piano Competition, Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong, performing a 45-minute recital. A finalist in the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Ms. Dong gave her first public concert at age 10, and has performed all over the world at some of the most famous concert halls, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Lincoln Center in New York City, and the Louvre Auditorium in Paris.

October 24, 2014
NO MEETING
SEE YOU AT THE WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S ON SATURDAY

October 31, 2014
Halloween Party
It’s Halloween!  Come in costume.  We will be having a costume contest with prizes for the funniest, cleverest, scariest, etc. costumes.  We will also listen to spooky music, carve jack-o-lanterns and light them with real candles. 

November 7, 2014
Lovely Maria Sings to You
Ms. Maria and her music (karaoke) machine bring you fun music of yesteryear. Get ready to tap your feet or get up and dance.  Don’t worry: you won’t be asked to get up and sing karaoke…unless you want to.

November 14, 2014
NO MEETING
SEE YOU AT THE FALL CAREGIVERS CONFERENCE

 

SUMMER 2014


July 11
Beating Stress
Judy Budlong from the Alzheimer’s Association office joins us for a discussion of stress and the different ways we find to relax.  We’ll try out a few different ways to combat stress, including guided visualization, chair yoga, herb tea and coloring mandalas.   

July 18
A Salute to The Beatles
The Friday Group celebrates one of the greatest musical groups of all time, the Beatles, on their 50 year anniversary.  Gail Ebberly shows slides of her trip to England and her collection of Beatle memorabilia, while we search the internet for our favorite Beatles songs, pictures, movies and moments in history.  

July 25
Essential Oils for Well-Being
Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and many more are gaining in popularity as ways to cure everyday ills, soothe the mind and promote overall health.  Callie Shepard joins us with a demonstration about how these powerful plant extracts can lead us down the path of wellness.  

August 1
What is Country Music?
Friday Friends will attempt to educate Lisa about Country Music, what it is, what they like about it and what the best songs are.  (Of course we’ll play lots of songs.) Then we will dive into the highly controversial Top 100 Country Songs of All Time. There are many lists out there, but no two are the same.         August 9
Ten Things about Me
Using lists we’ve brought with us, we will each share ten things about ourselves          August 15
Food for Health, Stamina and Beauty
Jenna, our volunteer from Brightstar, will lead a discussion about food and nutrition. What are your families’ favorite meals?  Has the way you eat changed over the years?  Bring a recipe for an easy, healthy meal to share. If there’s time, we’ll paint pictures of our favorite fruits or vegetables.     August 22
Photo Collage
On August 8th, the Friday Group shared things about themselves--their hobbies, professions, interests, families and more—and we all got to know each other a little better. Now it’s time to get creative! We will choose magazine photographs of things we like, cutting and pasting them to make works of art about ourselves. 
August 29
Salute to the Sixties
Some of us were in the middle of raising families, others of us were children.  How did you spend the 1960s?  What do you remember about the culture, technology and politics of the era?  We will divide into age groups and hear how the kids, teens, adults and parents experienced the decade.



SPRING 2014

May 16
Spring Picnic in Trinity Park
Spring is in the air and it’s time for charcoal grilled hot dogs with all the fixin’s.  We’ll meet in Shelter # 5 in Trinity Park. Bring something to share if you like, but you are the most important part of this festive get together.

May 23
A Salute to Memorial Day
With Memorial Day on Monday, the Friday Group will talk about the origins of the holiday, make paper poppies, play some marches memorializing our soldiers and salute the armed forces.  Bring a picture of yourself in the service, if you have one.

May 30
Watercolor Painting of Favorite Places
The Friday Group will paint pictures of their favorite places.  After finding and printing a picture of everyone's favorite place, friends will paint the scene with watercolor paint and talk about why the place is special to them.

June 6
NO MEETING

June 13
Dads, Grads and Baseball
First, the Friday group will tip its hat to June traditions by sharing photographs and stories of fathers and graduations.  Then Teresa and Jenna, the funniest women in the office, will lead a multi-media celebration of the Great American Pastime with humor, trivia, song, peanuts and hot dogs.  Bring a picture of your father or your graduate and come prepared to be entertained.

June 20
Cozumel, Mexico, and other Great Getaways
Turquoise water, powder soft sand and the smell of the sea.  Lisa will show slides from her recent trip to Cozumel, inviting Friday friends to share memories of their best (or worst) vacations as we go.  Bring a souvenir or picture from one of your vacations to share.

June 27
Wedding Bells
The Friday Group looks at another June tradition: Weddings!  Some in the group recently walked their daughters down the aisle, others have been married for over 50 years.  Bring pictures and lets talk about weddings: our own, those of our friends, family and children, or just a particularly good (or bad) one we attended.  Corey Bearden, a dementia care specialist with REACH, will play guitar and sing for us.

July 4
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY - NO MEETING

 

WINTER 2014

January 3 - Holiday Party
The Nativity and the Epiphany in Art
The Friday Group will kick off the New Year with the party that should have happened in December. We will look at and talk about paintings of the Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, (celebrated in many countries on January 6) in addition to the Nativity paintings we were going to look at in December.  We will look at the ox and the ass, the shepherds, Joseph and Mary and the Three Kings as depicted over the centuries by assorted great artists. We will also attempt to arrive at a concensus about the musical composition that best expresses the holiness of Jesus' birth.  Alzheimer's Association serves sandwiches and beverages.  Bring something to share.

January 10
Fruit Smoothies and Painting
Meet new members and start the year off right with healthy fruit smoohies, blended right here. Then the Friday Group engages in an art project.

January 17
Where Were We in '73?
Ah yes, the 1970s.  The Friday Group talks about the cars they drove, the songs they listened to and other memories of the 1970s.

January 24
Come on Let's Dance
The hilarity continues with a meeting devoted to dance. We will learn the Chicken Dance, the Macarena, a four-step version of Boot Scoot Boogie, and a Greek folk dance.  As always, we welcome suggestions!  When we need to catch our breath, Lisa will show some clips of the best dancing in the world. 

January 31
West Texas Day
Put on your best western duds because artist and curator of the West Texas Music Hall of Fame, Cayenne Kelli, is coming to talk about all things West Texas music.  We'll look at genuine artifacts, watch some music videos of the Top Ten Country Songs Ever, play "name that tune" and maybe even have a cowboy song sing-a-long. 

February 7
Weather cancellation

February 14
It's Valentine's Day! 
The Friday Group discovers who St. Valentine really was, tests their knowledge of famous lovers through history, gets matched with their new BFF and plays a rousing game of "cornhole" (if you're from Kentucky).  It's known as bean bag toss in these parts. 

February 21
The Twentieth Century
The Friday Group looks at the 20th Century’s most memorable moments, as seen through the lens of the century’s most acclaimed photojournalists.  Think Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima and other famous pictures of famous events.

February 28
Cody: A Man and His Dog
Cody Jay, one of our Friday volunteers, comes with his dog to talk about dogs, hunting, fishing and sports.  Jennifer talks about her work with a dog rescue group. The Friday Group takes a loving look at man’s best friend, sharing stories and memories, including the funniest animal videos on YouTube.

March 7
NO MEETING

March 14
Game Day
Bingo anyone?  How about checkers, backgammon, Parcheesi, Clue, Yatzee or Monopoly?  The Friday Group takes a step back in time, when games were the preferred pastime for young and old alike. 

March 21
When We Were Very Young
The Friday Group will be talking about childhood, our own and that of our children.  Proud parents and grandparents: email or bring a picture(s) of your children and grandchildren. 

March 28
Let’s Get Creative!
Creativity is essential to the health of the human spirit. The Friday Group sheds its inhibitions in a flurry of spontaneous creative self-expression using watercolor and collage. 

April 4
Fun with Science
Put on your lab coats, it’s time for scientific inquiry.  Using everyday materials and hands-on experiments, the Friday Group will answer such eternal questions as what happens when you drop raisins into a bottle of Sprite.

April 11
DIVA: Sopranos and Movie Stars
In recognition of the Fort Worth Opera Festival, the Friday Group will enjoy spine-tingling arias by some of the world’s greatest opera stars.  Moving from opera to movies, tell us who your favorite movie actresses are and we’ll show them for all to enjoy.   

April 18
Good Friday –No Meeting

April 25
Spring Picnic in Trinity Park
Spring is in the air and it’s time for charcoal grilled hot dogs with all the fixin’s.  We’ll meet in Shelter # 5 in Trinity Park.

May 2
Happy Birthday May Babies!
The Friday Group has a birthday party for everyone born in May: Jessica, Mahlon, Dorothy, Bruce, Renee, Lisa, and maybe others too.  Do you know what the Billboard Top 40 hit was on the day you were born?  We will find out! 

May 9
A Mother’s Love is Forever
The Friday Group celebrates Mothers Day, remembering our own mothers and looking at artistic depictions of motherhood through history.  How many popular songs about Mom can we think of?  Who are television’s favorite mothers?   Bring a picture of your mother and I’ll scan it so you can remember her to the group.

 

FALL 2013

December 6 - Cancelled due to Weather
The Nativity in Art - Holiday Party
Almost everyone knows the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.  The Friday Group will look at the journey to Bethlehem, birth in the manger, the visit of the three wise men and other chapters in the Christmas story as told through great works of art from the 14th Century through the 20th Century.   Bring your favorite holiday treat to share.

November 15
Fun with Science
Put on your lab coats, it’s time for scientific inquiry.  Using everyday materials and hands-on experiments, the Friday Group will answer such eternal questions as what happens when you drop raisins into a glass of 7-Up or how to build a tabletop hovercraft or a fizz inflator. 

November 1
Art and Music
Famous modern artists Wassily Kandinsky and Stuart Davis understood an equivalency between art and music.  What do they have in common?  The Friday Group will look at paintings by Davis, Kandinsky and others, listen to upbeat Jazz music and paint our feelings as we listen to music.  

October 25
Scary! 
Who loves Halloween?  What was the funniest or scariest costume you or your children ever wore?  What’s your favorite candy?  The Friday Group will listen to creepy music, watch clips from scary movies, talk about witches, goblins, ghosts, vampires, etc., and decorate pumpkins. You are welcome to come in costume.

October 18
Game Day
Bingo anyone?  How about checkers, backgammon, Parcheesi, or Monopoly?  The Friday Group takes a step back in time, when games were the preferred pastime for young and old alike.  If you have a favorite board game or card game you want to share, feel free to bring it. 

October 4
The Wonderful World of Pets
Did you have a favorite pet as a child?  Do you have one now?  The Friday Group takes a loving look at our furry, four footed (or scaly or feathered) friends, sharing photographs, stories and memories.  There will be a visit from the Dog Lady and we will enjoy the funniest animal videos on YouTube

September 27
Cook Out and Picnic in Trinity Park
The Friday Group will descend on a picnic shelter in Trinity Park to roast weenies, play games, and enjoy the coming of fall.  Dogs welcome.

September 13
Watercolor Painting
“Anyone who can hold a paintbrush can make a painting,” says Lisa, whose main job at the Alzheimer’s Association is running Memories in the Making, an art program for people with dementia.  The Friday Group will get out the watercolor paints and see what they come up with.  Some people will paint pictures of things they like while others are free to discover their inner abstract artist. 

September 6
Happiness
“Happiness is a warm blanket,” said the Peanuts philosopher Linus Van Pelt, who knew that there can be great happiness in relatively small things.  What makes you happy?  We will look at happy images, listen to happy music and make a photo collage of magazine photographs of things that make us happy.  

August 30
Favorite Hat Day
Wear your favorite hat and come prepared to tell everyone why it is your favorite hat, when you wear/wore it, and anything else of interest.  Was it something you wore for work, for a sport or hobby, or just for fun?  The Friday Group will explore the worlds of work, recreation and identity in picture, song and theater, even playing a type of charades where participants act out familiar forms of work and play.

August 23
Heroic Women
Who are the female heroes in your life?  The Friday Group will reflect upon the heroic mothers, wives, teachers, sisters, daughters, and friends in our lives.   We will then look at images of women in art and the media, from the Ancient Greeks to contemporary athletes, politicians and celebrities.  Come prepared to talk about a heroic woman in your life.  Bring a picture if you have one, or the title of a song that contains the word “woman” and we’ll look it up.


 

 

 


 

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