Arts & Minds is a not-for-profit organization committed to improving quality of life for all people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias through engagement with art. We partner with museums to provide meaningful art-centered activities that create positive emotional and cognitive experiences, enhance verbal and non-verbal communication, reduce isolation and build community. Our programs empower people with dementia, family members, professional caregivers and educators to strengthen social, emotional and spiritual bonds by engaging with art.
ArtCare is a unique program that brings community artists, students and volunteers into Luther Manor Adult Day Care Center for art residencies with the Adult Day Care participants. ArtCare also provides trainings of how to work with persons with Alzheimer’s and provides general information on the nature of Alzheimer’s disease.
Started as a public-private partnership in 2007, NYAM’s Age-friendly NYC initiative has catalyzed hundreds of changes throughout the city. We have successfully created Age-friendly Neighborhoods, increased pedestrian safety, showed thousands of businesses how to become age-friendly, and improved transportation and access to recreational and cultural resources for the city’s older adults. Age-friendly NYC was awarded “Best Existing Age-Friendly Initiative in the World” by the International Federation on Aging in 2013 and has provided strategic assistance to more than 70 cities worldwide.
In this exclusive video filmed prior to the pandemic, John Leland, author of Happiness is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old (Sarah Crichton Books, 2018) talks about the true meaning of isolation. It’s not just about living or feeling “alone.” Leland also discusses the fact that having purpose is not only motivating, but it is healthy. John also points out the ways in which artmaking and purpose intertwine.
“When the committee looked for promising solutions, it found studies showing that attending exercise programs helped reduce isolation — not a useful approach at the moment. The evidence for much-heralded technological approaches, from robotic pets and Zoom to voice-activated assistants, remains thin thus far. How, then, to help older people maintain their social connections when they’re supposed to be socially, or at least physically, distanced? Individuals and organizations around the country are proposing and trying a variety of tactics.”
“New York’s nursing homes have long been chronically understaffed, leaving family members to fill critical gaps, from feeding their relatives to checking for bedsores or infection. Now those family members are barred from entry, and existing workers are getting sick, quarantined or quitting because the work has become too dangerous.”
“The blossoming field of creative aging promotes opportunities for older adults to engage in the arts
through community-based programs. Evidence supports many benefits of creative aging—for older
adults who participate, the institutions that provide it, and the neighborhoods in which it occurs.
The New York Community Trust funded the New York City Creative Aging Initiative, a two-year collaboration among Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging, Lifetime Arts, and LiveOn NY, to strengthen
and advance the field of creative aging in the city, with a focus on the SU-CASA arts program. SU-CASA
has grown from a seed in 2010 to be the largest public participatory arts program for older adults in
the United States. Funded by the New York City Council and administered by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and the Department for the Aging (DFTA), SU-CASA provides grants to artists and cultural organizations to bring stimulating interactive arts programs to senior centers and other seniorserving organizations across the five boroughs. Participants work for weeks on songs, dances, stories, paintings, and more, then share their art with the community through a performance or exhibition.
Brookdale’s team conducted a two-year field analysis of SU-CASA and used the findings to help develop recommendations.”
“Despite all this, the phenomenon of weekend loneliness has scarcely been studied. ‘It’s not something that’s been researched at all,’ says Pamela Qualter, professor of psychology for education at the University of Manchester. She led the BBC’s Loneliness Experiment last year, and ‘found that there didn’t seem to be a time of day [nor] a season when people felt especially lonely. But we didn’t ask about the weekend.’ So what does weekend loneliness look like, who experiences it – and what might be done to alleviate it?”