Memories in the Making (MIM) art program provides Alzheimer’s artists with a forum to express themselves through painting and drawing, when words have failed them. Alzheimer’s disease often impacts verbal communication early on in the disease process. This results in the patient withdrawing for fear of embarrassment, and leads families and care providers to assume the person is unable to communicate. However, Memories in the Making artists have proven over and over again that they are “still here” by creating beautiful and meaningful artwork that provides a unique glimpse into their past.
Memories in the Making classes are led by art facilitators who are trained to provide a safe and validating environment for the artist to communicate. The artist is invited to describe what they have created and the facilitator is asked to record verbatim what the artist describes. Frequently, the description provided does not make sense to the art facilitator, but has a special meaning to the family. Time and time again, Memories in the Making families express joy and amazement over the recollection of a memory they believed was gone forever. In addition, the care staff experiences a more compassionate and whole understanding of the person in their care.
Memories in the Making originated at the Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Chapter in 1988. The program was developed by Selly Jenny, who endeavored to create a meaningful activity for people like her mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Selly succeeded, as research indicates Memories in the Making programs have a positive impact on physical health, mental health, and social functions of older adults living with Alzheimer’s. Today, the program is in care facilities and adult day care programs throughout the United States and in three countries, and it is estimated there are over 4,000 artists participating in a program each week. The program can also be used on a one-on-one basis for patients living at home. For more information please review the content throughout the website at: http://www.thememoriesinthemaking.com, and keep up to date with all the latest Memories in the Making news from the Orange County Alzheimers Association by reading their newsletter.
We are very sorry to announce that La Doris "Sam" Heinly passed away February 20th, 2013 in Newport Beach, California. Read More
La Doris “Sam” Heinly
Memories in the Making
National Program Consultant
Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County