Springfield Museum of Art to continue program for dementia, Alzheimer’s patients

The Springfield Museum of Art has joined the battle against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with its In the Moment program.

Launched last fall, In the Moment lets families or caregivers join those afflicted with memory issues to take in the Museum’s exhibits, enjoy snacks and even create an art project together.

The program’s spring edition will be 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 at the Museum, 107 Cliff Park Rd. The event is free, but pre-registration is requested.

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In the Moment derived from Museum of Art curator of education Annette Eshelman’s work at area memory care centers. The Museum after hours without regular crowds has proven an ideal setting.

“The families who came to our first event really, really enjoyed being with their loved ones in a place they don’t have to worry about distractions. Lots of people in a setting can make it tough,” she said.

Eshelman has tried to spread the word of the event by working with organizations such as United Senior Services, the Alzheimer’s Association and other area businesses. She’s secured grant and funding support as well to continue the project.

Even those who attended the first event can find something new with many different exhibits added since if they choose to return.

One of the highlights is the creation of art. Attendees can do an abstract project by painting with glass marbles and can take their art with them.

About 10 attended the first In the Moment. Eshelman hopes to at least double the number and encourages participation. The program is scheduled to be twice a year.

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She’s also encouraged by a recent data collection report that found memory care patients doing art helped elevate their mood from negative to very happy

“Families can see this difference,” said Eshelman. “This is an accessible place with a lot that can be explored and enjoyed.”

While reservations are requested, anyone who doesn’t have a reservation and wants to bring someone with memory issues is welcome to attend.

To pre-register call 937-325-4673 or go to www.springfieldart.net.

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