newsstaunton augusta art center offers art program for dementia patients and caregivers

Staunton Augusta Art Center offers art program for dementia patients and caregivers


staunton augusta art centerThe Staunton Augusta Art Center and the Alzheimer’s Association Arts Fusion program, are offering an inaugural, collaborative art program to persons diagnosed with early to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (or a related dementia) and their caregivers.  The first gallery tour is Tuesday, September 1, 10-11am.

Arts Fusion programs promote social engagement through guided explorations of artworks at museums and galleries in the Alzheimer’s Association Central and Western Virginia chapter region.  Currently programs are held at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, the Maier Museum of Art (Randolph College), and the Taubman Museum.  These programs are modeled on the Museum of Modern Art’s flagship program, Meet Me at MoMA.

“Maintaining social engagement is important in reducing stress and promoting self-esteem, however, the dynamics of previous social networks may become challenging for someone with memory loss.,” said Sharon Celsor-Hughes, Arts Fusion Director.  “Withdrawal and isolation may lead to depression in the person with the disease as well as their caregiver. By becoming involved in programs that are sensitive to the effects of the disease process, participants find themselves in a safe and positive environment.”

As one Arts Fusion participant shared, “We have gone from being husband and wife to caregiver and receiver, however, when we come to the museum we become a couple again.”  Frequently new social networks are forged when Arts Fusion participants experiencing similar lifestyle changes become friends.

The program at the Staunton Augusta Arts Center (20 South New St.) will begin on Tuesday, September 1st, 10:00–10:45 am. There is no charge but registration is required by calling the Alzheimer’s Association of Central and Western Virginia at 1-800-272-3900.  More information is available at that number or by e-mailing  [email protected].



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