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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 noon
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

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 photograph by Marissa Wallace

The Friday Group Schedule of Activities



Topics and activities are subject to change at any time.          

March 20, 2015
Christ’s Passion in Art
With Easter just around the corner, it’s a good time to look at works of art depicting the crucifixion of Christ. We will see how, from stained glass in Gothic cathedrals to old master paintings, art has served the purpose of illustrating scripture and instructing and inspiring the faithful.

March 27, 2015
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.  When we need to catch our breath, Lisa will show some clips of the best dancing in the world.

April 3, 2015

April 10, 2015
Painting Spring
The bluebonnets and other wildflowers are blooming, the weather is warm and it finally feels like spring. The Friday Group will celebrate spring and wildflowers by painting images of spring.

April 17, 2015
Field Trip to the Kimbell
The Kimbell Art Museum offers a special Viewpoints gallery discussion on the topic of artful fashion. Meet in the north galleries, Kahn Building.

April 24, 2015
The Wonderful World of Pets
Did you have a favorite pet as a child?  Do you have one now?  Our UNT student volunteers will bring their own pets so show us as they lead a loving look at our furry, four footed (or scaly or feathered) friends, sharing photographs, stories and memories. 

May 1, 2015
Songs you Know by Heart
David Hardwick, singer, songwriter and guitarist, presents songs you know by heart or soon will. The favorite Wednesday night performer at famed Fort Worth watering hole Buffalo West, David is famous for engaging his audiences and also for being able to play almost anything. 

May 8, 2015
Coffee with Congress
Congressman Joe Barton and his district assistant, Hunter Thedford, will join the Friday Group for “Coffee with Congress.”  Congressman Barton will tell us about legislative activities in District 6. Participants will have an opportunity to share experiences related to Alzheimer's disease and dementia with the congressman and his assistant. Refreshments will be provided.

May 15, 2015
Picnic in the Park
It’s time for our annual May picnic! Meet at shelter #5 in Trinity Park. Just like last year, Lisa brings hot dogs, potato salad, coleslaw and all the fixings. Friday friends bring something to share.

May 22, 2015
Tell us about the Grandkids
Friday friends will brag about their children, grandchildren and the rest of their families. Bring the most “Aw-inspiring” photos you have. Or even better, send them to me weeks in advance!  

May 29, 2015
Music with Ms. Vicki
Music is powerful therapy in the hands of Ms. Vicki Schweiss, who has been teaching music for 33 years and recently earned a degree in music therapy. She will introduce the Friday Group to the wonders of music therapy. Be prepared to leave feeling good.


Check out what the Friday Group was doing a year ago! It's always something different.


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 consensus 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 smoothies, 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

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
Stroll in the Japanese Gardens
We will meet at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens to take in the beauty and fresh air of the Japanese Gardens, Perennial Garden and Rose Garden.  $5 fee for Japanese Garden.

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.

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

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

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.

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
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

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

November 21, 2014

November 28, 2014

December 5, 2014
Tis the Season to be Jolly
Friday Friends will remember Christmases past and talk about what they like best (or don't like) about the holidays.  We will hand make little ornaments to decorate a tree for the office reception area.

December 12, 2014

December 19, 2014
Holiday Party

December 26, 2014

WINTER 2015    
January 9, 2015
Richard Don Simms: Banjo and Storytelling
Ring in the New Year with music and laughter. Native Fort Worth character Richard Don Simms comes to play banjo and tell jokes and stories of his life on the road.        

January 16, 2015
Creating a Personal Playlist
Are you ever transported back in time by hearing a favorite song? Bring a short list of songs that are important to you and we will play some of them. Be prepared to tell us the time of your life the song makes you remember.      

January 23, 2015
The Twentieth Century
The Friday Group looks at some of the most defining moments of the 20th Century, as seen through the lens of the best photojournalists. You’ve seen some of these images many times. What can you tell us about them?      

January 30, 2015
What’s so Modern about Modern Art?
What we call “modern art” is over 100 years old. What makes it “modern”?  Lisa will guide an exploration of select early-20th Century masterworks: Cezanne, Gaugin, Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Braque and more. Then we will make our own brightly colored paintings.

 February 6, 2015
Living a Healthy Lifestyle
At the start of each new year, don’t we all resolve to do something positive for our health?  It’s hard when the idea of what’s healthy keeps changing. Friday Friends will talk about their best habits and their worst. Then chiropractor Bryan Henss will talk to us about Maximized Living, a health care delivery system based on removing any and all possible forms of interference from your body's natural balanced state of health and homeostasis.”

February 13, 2015
Valentine’s Eve Party
The Friday Group will celebrate the day before Valentine’s Day with a little party.  We will listen to love songs, make old fashioned Valentines and find who our new BFFs are. Then we will have a little contest to find out who among us is the most romantic.

February 20, 2015
Those Sensational Seventies
Friday Friends travel back in time to refresh our memories about the 1970s. Where did you live?  Where were you in your life’s journey? Some of us had teenage kids, others of us were teenagers!  We’ll look at a timeline of the technology, music, politics, movies, fashion, TV shows and more and try to remember the best and the worst of the decade.

February 27, 2015

March 6, 2015
The Illustrated Life
If your life were a book, would it be a juicy novel, an adventure story or a comic book?  Friday Friends will remember a scene or story from their life history and make a picture of it.  We will have pens, pencils, markers, crayons and paint. Stick figures are perfectly OK! 

March 13, 2015







Alzheimer's Association

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