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Early Stage Social Engagement Program
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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.




Thank Goodness It's Friday
meets at the Alzheimer's Association Office
Fridays 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
For more information, call Lisa Buck at 817-336-4949 or email lisa.buck@alz.org

Weekly meetings resume January 3rd, 2014

The Early Stage Social Engagement Program, aka “The Friday Group” meets every Friday to explore different topics of conversation and engage in a variety of activities that flex different cognitive and physical abilities.  It is an informal gathering of people who meet weekly 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 faciltiate conversations and activities around a given theme, but the direction the meetings take are equally determined by the participation and interests of the group.  Everyone, especially those with dementia, is strongly encouraged to contribute to the conversations, which are supplemented by pictures, music and other sensory, non-verbal forms of communication.  Does the group like to laugh and joke, discuss serious issues, or reminisce and tell stories from their own lives? 

The emphasis is on communication, camraderie and amusement through conversation, inquiry, story telling and play.  Often, we will listen to music, look at images, do a simple craft or play a game.  We have the whole internet at our disposal, allowing us spontaneously to look up facts, play a favorite song, or otherwise search anything and everything that comes to mind and project it on to a screen for all to enjoy.  Topics tend to be very general and 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.

The Friday Group Schedule of Activities

Topics and activities are subject to change at any time.

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.


 

 

 


 

Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.