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Detroit Institute of Arts offers Program for People with Early Stage Dementia and Their Caregivers - HealthPlus of Michigan sponsors monthly program that begins March 17

Thursday, March 01, 2012

(Detroit)—“Meet Me at the DIA: A Program for People with Early Stage Dementia and Their Caregivers” is a new program at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) that begins on Saturday, March 17, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. People with early stage dementia, including Alzheimer’s, and their caregivers are invited to participate in gallery discussions about art led by DIA staff and volunteers with expertise in this area. The cost is $20 per couple and sessions will also be offered on Saturdays, April 21 and May 19. Each session is limited to 20 people. This program is sponsored by HealthPlus of Michigan.

“People with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are often isolated and have few opportunities to interact socially or remain involved in the community,” said Jennifer Czajkowski, executive director of the DIA’s Learning and Interpretation department. “This program provides a safe, inspiring environment for social engagement and intellectual stimulation, where participants will feel welcome and comfortable. We are grateful to HealthPlus of Michigan for a generous sponsorship that allows the DIA to introduce this program in the Detroit area.”

All participants, including caregivers, are encouraged to contribute to the discussions, which are based on the observations and connections made by the group. Each person will receive a small print of a DIA artwork so conversations can be continued after leaving the museum.

“Meet Me at the DIA,” which is modeled after a successful program at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, will enhance Alzheimer’s patients’ quality of life through mental stimulation, communication, personal growth and social engagement. Similar programs have been shown to increase the mood and self-esteem of dementia patients and their caregivers immediately following their visit and for days afterward.

This is just one of several programs the museum offers to audiences with special needs. The DIA also works with Adult Well Being Services, the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, blind and visually impaired students, and provides tours for kids with special needs. In the community, DIA teaching artists work with patients at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. Children who are in the hospital for an extended time benefit from the opportunities for creative expression and quickly discover they are more than their disease as they engage in making art.

To register, call 313-833-4005 or click http://bit.ly/meetmeatthedia.

About HealthPlus
HealthPlus of Michigan is a health and wellness organization providing customized, nationally recognized health plans that meet the needs of large and small employers, and families and individuals, through a variety of programs including Medicare Advantage and Medicaid. HealthPlus is proudly headquartered in Flint, Mich., and was formed in 1979 as a not-for-profit organization.

DIA Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for DIA members. For membership information call 313-833-7971.

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The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from the City of Detroit.