I will most definitely keep your contact information for bringing this group to any community that I would go to! It is absolutely fantastic and you are so great working with people that have dementia especially! It takes a special heart and you have nailed it for connection and entertainment! I know The Pillars schedules their entertainers way far in advance, so I’m not sure how much I will be able to add in the beginning but I will definitely reach out to you! They also have a role similar to mine currently, called the Dimensions Manager in the memory care, and I will coordinate with her as well. I am so appreciative of your creativity and your flexibility through the years together. What you are doing makes such a difference in the lives of seniors and you are a bright spot in their day, every time you’re here! I love hearing them talk about how fun you are after the group! I hope you are able to keep this connection going at Sholom, as well as adding it to other communities as able! I look forward to our paths continuing to connect!
Thank you for all that you do and the positivity you spread!
Heather Rhein Memory Care Program Mgr/ Therapeutic Rec Spec HRhein@SHOLOM.com
Certified Dementia Communication's Specialist and Facilitator on Staff
Dementia Communication's Improv Program
Performing Arts and Senior Programs
Our programs are held throughout the community at various Assisted Living, Nursing Homes and Senior Communities.
Music - All our classes include wonderful music from the past, song, engagement and laughter. Every program begins with light stretching and warmups followed by a few vocal warmups. Musical instruments are used as well in some of our classes throughout the session.
Dance - there is an African Proverb that goes like this: "If you can walk you can dance", we like to take it a step further, "If your heart is still beating you can Dance". Whether you are mobile or not there is always a way to dance. You may do your dance in a chair or wheelchair by moving your feet, hands or both. If you are in a bed perhaps you can move your hand, wiggle your toes, nod your head or both. For those unable to move on their own, a caregiver may gently do it for them. Using a scarf and gently swaying it back and forth will give them the sense of movement ie: Scarf Dance.
Senior Programs are held at Senior Facilities in the Twin Cities
All abilities including Alzheimer’s/Dementia (Certified Dementia Communication Specialist facilitating)
Senior Body and Mind Class “Ageless Grace“ Educator
Matter of Balance Program - Good Samaritan's Waconia (8 weeks)
It's Never too Late to Create Dance & Drama-Havenwood Richfield
Sholom St. Paul, Sholom West, Roitenberg, Ackerberg
Adaptive Theater and Dance Programs for adults with special needs
Chrestomathy Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Minneapolis
(Autism Education Professional On Staff)
For more information call 952-220-1676
The Arts and Seniors living with Dementia Alzheimers
Why Improv - Theater Games?
Improv is all about being in the moment, which for someone with memory loss is a very safe place.
There's no experience required, there's no script, there's no memorization of lines, the only thing needed is the willingness to engage, have fun and allow their creativity to flow.
There is no right or wrong answer in Theater, that is why Improv is so safe for those living with Memory Loss.
Participants contribute whatever they wish and as the Facilitator, Actor, Engager, Caregiver, Family member, Recreational Therapist, etc. it is up to us to continue with the dialogue that is in the moment.
"Yes and" allows for the participant to elaborate and take the story any way they wish while we are in agreement and encourage.
(Feeback from Sholom West after completing a 10 week grant funded program) Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and Legacy Funds.
Hi Bonnie, I’m so sad that the program is ending! L Our residents love it. There are times that us staff cannot reach them and you do! I have never seen our Russian residents light up the way they do with you in drama interaction. I think the Russian has been so needed and vital. I love having the props to interact with always being different and having just the right amount of time for the residents’ attention span. Sometimes the role playing has worked but I did see they needed coaching prompts to repeat. Miming and acting things out or listing was interesting too as I didn’t think residents could guess that well, so a pleasant surprise. Music is helpful that it is loud and upbeat songs. You all bring so much joy and energy to the residents and they have a blast in 30 minutes. I hope you all well in the future. You will all be so missed! Nicole Ritchie Therapeutic Recreation Specialist NRitchie@SHOLOM.com www.sholom.com | O: | Address: 3620 Phillips Parkway, St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Hello Bonnie, What I liked about your program is that it is bringing residents out and into a unique and imaginary way to get them engaged. Your variety of music and themed events are a great way of reminding them what season we are in. With 3S I have to do programs with a lot of them that are hands on and visual and you bring that to the table. Having the Russian interpreter is a great asset to our population. Your staff is experienced and enjoyed working with all of you. You will be greatly missed Bonnie. Keep on keeping on. You are making a difference in the lives of our aging. Tammy Allison Therapeutic Recreation Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org www.sholom.com | O: | Address: 3620 Phillips Parkway, St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Campaign for funding of Senior Arts Programming through GiveMN.org. Drama Interaction, 501(c)3 all donations tax deductible
Because memory problems often effect short-term memory more than long-term recall, even people with severe dementia are able to connect with music they had enjoyed before their memory began to decline. We use improvisational exercises which are about being “in the moment”; a very safe place for someone with memory loss.
Theatrical activities offer this group a unique environment where the threat of being “right or wrong” is removed, no proficiency is required, there is nothing to read or memorize, and constant positive encouragement allows deep creativity to flow.
Theater programming creates a safe space that allows for expression through simple movements, sounds, objects or words. In addition, improvisational communication is helpful in decreasing negative dementia symptoms and contributing to overall wellness.
Participant will engage in gentle body movements, vocal exercises using call and response, singing, sit dance, improvisation, puppetry and musical instruments.
The prevalence of arts activities available to elders in nursing homes senior care centers, assisted living, etc. is practically non existent; adaptive programs, even worse.
We hope to begin to tackle this very large need, one program at a time, until being a senior in Minnesota might be considered and Artful Advantage!
Your donation in any amount will ensure the continuation of these much needed programs in the Twin Cities.
Theater Benefits - encourage self expression and creativity
Combat loneliness and isolation within a supportive group of peers.
Draw upon rich past experiences to create scenarios that showcase important moments in life.
Capture the health-giving aspects of laughter
Dance Benefits - Increase circulation, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain, speed healing and improves sleep.
Movement and body language
Observation, following and retention
See what some are saying about our outreach programs for Seniors:
*** ”There are times that us staff cannot reach the and YOU do! I have never seen our Russian residents light up the way they do with you in Drama Interaction “
*** “Your variety of music and themed events are a great way of reminding them what season we are in. You are making a difference in the lives of our aging.”
-Tammy Allison, therapeutic recreation specialist
*** “I learned to express myself with verbal and movement actions. We laugh, learn, act, dance, be funny, be serious, dress up, adlib and Improvisations. Just really a wonderful program.” - Cora Crow Resident
*** “Thanks for all you do here! I’ve heard such great feedback from our HHA’s too about how fun you are with our residents. Our family member, Cliff, also really seems to enjoy himself too! I love having this for something a little different for entertainment, that’s engaging!