Alzheimer’s New Jersey to host music workshops for caregivers

ROSELAND, NJ — Alzheimer’s New Jersey is hosting free special interactive “Bring Back the Joy” workshops for Alzheimer’s caregivers on the benefits of engaging people with dementia through music during March, April and May. The next workshop is scheduled for Friday, March 26, at 10 a.m. Essex County caregivers are invited to register for this one-session workshop via Zoom by going to Online Education at www.alznj.org. To learn more about the program and future workshop dates, contact Caitlin Lennox at clennox@alznj.org. 

“The COVID-19 health crisis has dramatically increased the emotional and financial stress already experienced by families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease,” said Ken Zaentz, president and CEO of Alzheimer’s New Jersey. “Due to COVID, feelings of isolation and loneliness are even more significant and can result in anxiety and behavioral issues for the person with dementia. Participating together by listening to familiar music and engaging in music-focused activities has social and emotional benefits for persons with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as their caregivers.”

The Zoom workshops will last approximately 90 minutes. They will be facilitated by registered nurse Jan Maier, who is now retired after 14 years of health and aging policy research as senior research analyst at RTU International, where for six years she was part of the National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Team. With researcher Dr. May Mittelman and others, Maier was instrumental in starting the first chorus for people with dementia and their caregivers in the United States, The Unforgettables.

Workshop attendees will learn how to use music to bring joy into their lives as caregivers. There will be a brief music-making activity and a walkthrough of the latest brain science and research about how and why music is so powerful. 

“Bring Back the Joy” is a grant-funded program available to caregivers from Essex, Union, Somerset, Morris and Sussex counties. Funding has been provided by the Grotta Fund for Senior Care of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s New Jersey programs, call 888-280-6055 or visit www.alznj.org.

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