‘Bring Back the Joy’ to those with Alzheimer’s, caregivers

ROSELAND, NJ — Alzheimer’s New Jersey will host free interactive “Bring Back the Joy” workshops for Alzheimer’s caregivers on the benefits of engaging people with dementia through music during October, November and December. Area caregivers can register for any of the seven scheduled one-session workshops via Zoom by going to “Online Education” at www.alznj.org.

“Bring Back the Joy” is a grant-funded program available to caregivers from Essex, Union, Somerset, Morris and Sussex counties.

“The COVID-19 health crisis has dramatically increased the emotional and financial stress already experienced by families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease,” Alzheimer’s New Jersey President and CEO Ken Zaentz said. “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 in the United States for people with dementia and their caregivers, 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. 

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