Harlem Resident Talks Living With Alzheimer’s And The Benefits Of Art

The Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter was featured in an article on arts programs for people living with Alzheimer’s on CityLimits. The article highlights Harlem resident Ed Smith, a member of our Early Stage Social Engagement program at the Alzheimer’s Association and the hands-on art classes that they offer to the community free of charge.

CityLimits wrote that “Smith had also cared for his mother after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. That experience gave him a sense that he too may have developed the disease and, after trying to ignore instances of memory loss and confusion, he finally visited a hospital. There, tests confirmed that he had Alzheimer’s. “When I found out, I cried,” he says. “But then I said, ‘What am I going to do about this?’”

Smith says the Alzheimer’s Association programs, including Latin dance classes and creative writing sessions, enable him to interact with a diverse group of New Yorkers, develop new skills and tap into long-dormant feelings, emotions and memories.

“Something happened last week when I was working on a collage,” Smith says. “I was 10 years old, 12 years old like I was in art class again. I had this response to color and shapes and as I was reaching for something, my whole body calmed down and it was amazing. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that.”

Members of the community can call the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter’s 24/7 helpline to sign up for and learn more about our support services. 800-272-3900 at City Institutions Battle Alzheimer’s With Art.

Check out the podcast with Alzheimer’s Association new Director of Communications Chelsea-Lyn Rudder here.

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