In the Moment
A program about making art accessible to people living with dementia
Carnegie Museum of Art announces the expansion of In the Moment, gallery tours for people living with dementia and their caregivers. The museum is now accepting registration from individuals for monthly tours that begin April 12, 2011.
- Tours for individuals and their caregivers are offered on the second Tuesday of each month, 1–2 p.m.
- Residential care facilities may schedule group tours for pairs of residents and caregivers at times convenient to the group.
- The fee for both individual and group tours is $15 per pair per tour. Call 412.622.3289 to register. Space is limited; please register 3 weeks in advance.
Who can join a tour?
Tours are designed for people with early and middle-stage dementia and their caregivers. Many participants use wheelchairs. The groups are generally small—no more than 12 people per docent.
What happens on a tour?
Museum of Art docents engage participants in a lively, informal conversation on four or five works of art, selected around a common theme—for example, landscape, portraits, or city scenes. The discussion focuses on observing and responding to the art. This allows both the person with dementia and the caregiver to join in sharing their insights and opinions, and in making interpretations and connections to their own lives.
Research has shown the powerful role that engaging with art can play in the lives of people with dementia. The art often triggers long-term memories, while also stimulating new associations and ideas. The benefits of the gallery experience can last even beyond the visit, in an improved mood and higher level of self-esteem. For both the caregiver and the person with dementia, these programs provide a chance for social interaction and, perhaps most importantly, a respite from the challenges that dementia presents—an opportunity to truly live “in the moment.”
About In the Moment
In the Moment began as a series of Museum of Art tours for residents of Presbyterian Senior Care’s Woodside Place, a care facility specializing in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In the last two years, Museum of Art staff and docents have combined this experience and training with research and visits to other museums, creating a model based on the art and dementia programs at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
In December 2010, the Museum of Art presented an In the Moment workshop, featuring speakers from the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Alzheimer’s Project at MoMA, with gallery sessions led by the director of MoMA’s Alzheimer’s Project. An audience of staff from local senior care facilities, neighboring museums, and various other institutions gained an appreciation for the ways in which making art accessible for people with dementia can provide meaningful experiences in the lives of all participants.
In the Moment in the media
“Museum Programs for Alzheimer’s Patients Show the Power of Art as Therapy,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 27, 2010
“Museum Program Hopes to Keep Alzheimer’s Patients ‘In the Moment,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 2, 2010
“Finding Joy in the Moment,” Carnegie Magazine, Winter 2010