by Nicole Bruce
You are a caregiver of a parent or loved one with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairment, and you want to share an at-home activity that will stimulate him or her. Now, CJE has an app just for that! All you have to do is power up your iPadTM, go to iTunesTM and download Art in the Moment. Just select a module and up pops a work of art. Simple questions about the work, both on- screen and audibly, prompt reflections and conversation. This app is a wonderful tool for cultural and cognitive enrichment.
The Art in the Moment mobile app, based on the already established real-time Art in the Moment program that CJE SeniorLife and The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) created, was further developed by CJE and AIC (plus SchwarTech Consulting) into an engaging electronic version. Available now through iTunes for iPad users, it is designed to foster opportunities for family and friends to interact and converse with older loved ones with cognitive disabilities.
The act of observing, talking about and creating art is an alternative way for older adults with dementia to communicate and reflect on their life experiences, and to be actively and fully engaged in the present moment with loved ones and caregivers.
Based on The Museum of Modern Art’s Alzheimer’s Project, “Meet Me at MoMA,” Art in the Moment is a unique CJE program designed specifically for older adults with early-to mid-stage dementia and their caregivers to spark creative dialogue and nurture positive interactions.
Participants of the local, real-time program visit The Art Institute of Chicago museum galleries to view and discuss renowned works of art and then engage in related art-making projects.
The Art in the Moment app, made possible with funding from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, uses selected works of art found in the AIC’s collection to stimulate users’ minds through posed questions while viewing works of art on the device. It even encourages users to engage in a related art-making activity on their own, similar to the real-time program held at AIC.
In the mobile app version of this program, works of art are arranged by themes, or modules, such as “Celebrations,” in which app users can explore how various celebrations have been depicted in art—from elaborate festivities to public gatherings to spontaneous, private celebrations—and reminds viewers of the many opportunities we have to applaud life as we live it.
The app initially launched with the “Celebrations” module, and will continue to release other themes over time, including: Rhythm and Art, Modern Portraits, The Wonder Years, and Jewish Artists. To download and find more information about the application for mobile devices, visit www.artinthemoment.org (link is external).
Funding for Art in the Moment at CJE SeniorLife is made possible by the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Fund.