“ART WITH HEART” HELPS PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S CONNECT THROUGH ART
Sugar Land, TX April 22, 2016– The Alzheimer’s Association, in collaboration with the Sugar Land Art Center & Gallery, recently wrapped up their “Art with HeART” program for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. The six-week art workshop introduces people with Alzheimer’s disease and their care partner to creative expression and social engagement through painting.
The weekly, two-hour “Art with HeART” program is more than just an art class. It is an opportunity for families living with dementia to connect with others, engage their brains, learn a new skill, and feel productive. “Participants begin the class having zero art experience and feeling nervous about painting. By the end of the six weeks, participants have had a blast and are asking when the next class will be,” explains Marisa Ramón of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Studies have shown that both art and music can enrich the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease, even as the disease progresses. Art projects can create a sense of accomplishment and purpose and it gives the care partner a new way to connect with their loved one. “My mother has enjoyed getting to create art again. It’s been nice to have a fun outing to look forward to,” says Julia Fleming, whose mother, Ann, has Alzheimer’s disease.
Participants worked on a new painting each week and used both acrylic paints and watercolors to complete still life paintings, landscapes, and modern pieces. Ruth Stubenrouch, art instructor from the Sugar Land Art Center, encouraged participants to let loose and have fun with their artwork. “This class should be fun,” explains Stubenrouch. “Art is not about being perfect but it’s about having fun.”
The Alzheimer’s Association and the Sugar Land Art Center & Gallery hope to continue offering the “Art with HeART” class for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. With over 5.2 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, art engagement classes are becoming a more popular way to engage families who are dealing with this disease. As Alzheimer’s Association staff Marisa Ramón explains, “Our hope is that through these art classes, we can bring joy into the lives of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Families should never have to feel alone.”
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org® or call 800.272.3900.