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Artist Facilitators Paint Compassion Into Prgm
Wednesday, July 9, 2003 12:00:00 AM - Monroe Ohio
For many who participate in the Memories in the Making© program, their work on canvas or paper is a culmination of life experiences. In most instances, every pieces of art has unique story.
The same can be said for those professional artists who facilitate the program sessions for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.
Mary Elizabeth Hagan, 82, is a Memories in the Making© program facilitator
at the Senior Independence Adult Day Program in Monroe. She works closely with people in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease or a related
dementia in helping them express themselves through painting and drawing.
“When I am asked ‘How long did it take you to paint that?’ my reply is today
and a lifetime,” said Mrs. Hagan, a professional artist whose watercolor is
currently featured on the cover of the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement
Communities 2003 Resident Art Calendar. “My art and my life are one. I thank God every day for the gift.”
Under the guidance of an artist facilitator, the Memories in the Making©
program offers individuals a means of self-expression through the process of painting and drawing. In the Memories program, a person with diminished verbal and organizational skills can communicate by using paint or pencil to recreate a memory on paper. Currently, there are 14 facilities/locations hosting a
Memories in the Making© program including Senior Independence in Monroe, Ohio.
“Facilitators play a vital role in the success of the program. We look for
people who are not only artists but also work well with seniors and those
affected by Alzheimer’s,” said Joan Hock, Memories in the Making© coordinator and artist facilitator for the “Linn Street Bunch” that meets weekly at the
Alzheimer’s Association office in Cincinnati.
Mrs. Hock adds that participants in this program are memory-impaired men and women from diverse backgrounds and occupations, many of whom do not have previous painting or drawing experience.
“The energy and enthusiasm these people have is very uplifting. They take such pride and joy in their work,” she added.
For more information about the Memories in the Making© program, call
Clarissa Rentz, Program Director at (513) 721-4284 or visit our website at

Information taken from Cornerstone Newsletter by the Alzheimer’s Association Vol. 17 No. 2
Spring 2003
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