Alzheimer's Poetry Project (APP)

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APP develops a new approach to facilitate the creation and performance of poems for participants with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.


Bowery Arts and Science - The Alzheimer's Poetry Project

The Alzheimer's Poetry Project was founded in 2004 in Santa Fe, New Mexico by poet Gary Glazner. The APP has held 300 programming sessions at 75 facilities in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and Washington DC, serving over 9,500 people living with Alzheimer's disease. APP has given staff training for over 800 health care workers and family members in using poetry with dementia. APP has received funding from among others The National Endowment for the Arts, Society for Arts and Health Care, the McCune Foundation, City of New York Department of Culture, New York State Council on the Arts, New Mexico Arts, City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, Puffin Foundation, and the Witter Bynner Foundation.


New York, NY

How does it work?

The APP is an on-going project that targets people in mid to late stage dementia. APP reaches participants with poems they learned as children. They remember words and lines from these poems and join in reciting the poems with the session leader.

The program also trains family members and caregivers in how to use poetry with dementia through workshops offered throughout the country. APP has worked with over 200 health care workers and volunteers who provide assistance with the poetry sessions. Through workshops at conferences for the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's Foundation of America, University of San Diego's Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and the Veteran?s Administration, APP has provided training in using poetry with dementia for over 2,000 family caregivers and health care workers.

Why is it successful?

APP has served over 10,000 people living with dementia since our inception in 2004. A recent grant from the Yahoo Employee Foundation will allow us to serve an additional 4,000 in 2009 and 2010 and for the expansion of programming in Arizona, California, Illinois, and New Mexico. Recent funding from the Helen Bader Foundation has allowed for extensive expansion of services in and training of family members and health care workers in rural Wisconsin.

For more information:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014