NYC art museum offers tours designed for people with dementia

The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is projected to increase as the Baby Boomers continue to age. Over the years, giant steps in memory care have taken place (Snoezelen rooms, reminiscence and other therapies, medications and other advancements) that improve quality of life. Not only are physicians, caregivers and care facilities dedicated to this population, but community efforts of help and inclusion continue to improve their limited world.

In a partnership with the New York City chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Rubin Museum of Art will inaugurate its specialized Mindful Connections program, expanding its accessibility services to visitors with dementia. Medical research findings show that contemplation of art evokes emotional memories, while encouraging communication and socialization for people with dementia. This is the foundation of Mindful Connections.

Museum guides and docents learned how to conduct inquiry-based discussions about the works of art in the museum’s collections from Amy Trommer, dementia care educator at the Alzheimer’s Association and Carolyn Halpin-Healy of Arts and Minds, a nonprofit organization.

The museum’s tour of Himalayan art will begin on September 16. Mindful Connections tours will be held monthly. Jed Levine, executive vice president, director, programs and services, believes that ”this program will provide participants the opportunity to be involved in a meaningful activity, engage in stimulating conversation, and form new friendships.”

For our readers in the NYC area who might like to take advantage of Mindful Connections, the Rubin Museum of Art is physically accessible for visitors with mobility issues, including a wheelchair lift to transport visitors from the admissions area to the main lobby. The first Monday of every month is Free Seniors Day.

Mindful Connections takes place on the third Friday of each month. Advanced registration is required to participate. Visit for a full schedule and registration information.

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Topics: Activities , Alzheimer's/Dementia