The Bechtler’s Museum Memories offers people with dementia and Alzheimer’s — and their caregivers — art classes, museum tours and connection.
As memories fade, people “tend to isolate and become insecure,” said Mykell Gates Jamil, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s director of school and community outreach. “They may feel afraid of having the wrong answer or forgetting the words they need to express themselves.”
Jamil heads Museum Memories, a free program for adults with early-stage dementia and their care partners that, she said, “places participants in a safe environment with others experiencing the same thing, and there is no need for a correct answer — just dialogue and exploration.”
Museum Memories includes tours and art classes specially designed for people living with dementia. Participants have meaningful social interaction and get the chance to explore modern art in a way that builds their self-worth and nourishes their relationship with their care partner — whether that’s a spouse, adult child, friend or nursing aide.
Some participants live on their own. Others live in retirement communities and may come with a group. Gracious Living Adult Day and Health Care Center, Loving Touch Adult Day/Health, The Ivey and Southminster are among long-time participants.