-Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
With nearly 5.3 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s today, we all eagerly await a cure for the tragic disease. Many doctors and scientists have developed treatments and medicines that they feel may help slow the process, but the Museum of Modern Art, along with the Alzheimer’s Association, have come up with a slightly different idea: art. “One of the ways to get to people with Alzheimer’s is to engage them through art, because art is so creative,” says Tania Becker, one of the people involved in this project.
Becker and her volunteers believe that art can help those with Alzheimer’s, because art is an easy way to express one’s emotions, and inability to express emotions is often one of the most isolating factors of the Alzheimer’s. Therefore, Becker, along with some volunteers, has started an art class for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Participants in Becker’s class can come in and paint virtually whatever they like – sometimes they paint an image from their minds, other times they paint the highlighted centerpiece provided by Becker. Becker believes that art can help her students live in the “here and now,” which is something they don’t get to experience often.