Alzheimer’s Association offering the artistic program “Memories in the making”
TWIN FALLS – The Alzheimer’s Association is focused on researching, caring, supporting and educating those struggling with disease. Recently, the Idaho chapter of the association has strived to provide a unique experience for residents living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Officials are running an art program that gives people living with Alzheimer’s disease the chance to try watercolor painting as part of a program known as “Memories in.” the Making â.
âIt’s a way to genuinely involve people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers in a meaningful activity that helps them,â said Adrean Cavener, executive director of the Idaho chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The program will offer either two or three sessions that span four weeks. In each session, there will be approximately six to eight participants with early or middle stage dementia. They paint whatever they want, in the hope that the activity can help free their memories.
âThere is something to be said about the colors and the art,â Cavener said. âAgain, we’re not looking at the end product, we’re looking at the process. So what we’ve found with other individuals is that a black streak on their paper reminds them of something.â
Once the sessions are over, the plan is for the organizers and local artists to work together, collect all the paintings and organize an art exhibition to showcase all the pieces made by the participants.
âThis is a great opportunity to talk about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in a way that we don’t have,â Cavener said. “Usually you don’t go to an art show to talk about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, but it’s a really amazing way that we can talk and educate the public.”
The program is expected to start within the next 30 days, but to become a reality the program needs more volunteers who are willing to help and able to facilitate a conversation with those present.
One of the current volunteers is Graciela Fonseca, a board member of a local arts organization, the Hispanic Cultural Center. Graciela has been involved in the arts for years helping in youth programs and wherever she can lend a hand.
Graciela has always been open to trying new things in the arts and thinks this program will be an exciting experience.
âIt’s a very enriching feeling to be able to help someone explore themselves,â said Fonseca. “I think it’s the wonder, it’s impressive to me.”
What excites Graciela most about her involvement in this program is that she has seen firsthand how participating in an activity like this can have a positive impact on someone’s life.
âI have this idea that people heal through the arts, and I believe they can do it, and I believe they do, they just don’t recognize it,â Fonseca said. the arts and it’s a wonderful process.
Although art is the focal point of “Memories in the Making”, it is really about the individual behind the brush.
âSeeing what they produce is part of it,â Fonseca said. “But, real work has to do with their personal growth, their awareness, their self-awareness and their acceptance of who they are.”
For anyone wishing to participate or volunteer for this program, it is best to call the Alzheimer’s Association office at 208-206-0041.
The Magic Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on September 25 at the College of Southern Idaho. You can join our team by clicking here.