Memory-Impaired Put Brush to Canvas to Support Others with Alzheimer’s

Location : Orchard Park (Morton Grove)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a group of artists is speaking volumes. They reside at Silverado Orchard Park, Silverado Highland Park and Silverado Lake Zurich memory-care communities, where they take art classes and soon will auction their work to benefit others with dementia. 

Silverado Orchard Park hosted a Wine & Watercolors Mixer and Silent Auction that featured about 30 paintings by residents from the three communities. The event is drew more than 100 participants and raised money for the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. The event represents a practice central to Silverado’s care, which is enriching lives of those with dementia by helping them to experience the fulfillment of achievement, giving and engagement.

 “The classes and auctions bring joy and a feeling of connection to our residents, as well as showing that people with dementia can lead meaningful lives,” says Silverado Orchard Park Administrator Samantha Johnson. “Having our residents contribute their artistic abilities for this event is very special. It’s a wonderful celebration of their abilities, not limitations. It helps create community awareness and hope, and benefits a cause that is close to all of our hearts.”

Inspired by the Alzheimer’s Association’s Memories in the Making art therapy program, Silverado Orchard Park Engagement Assistant Samantha Kanelstein, an art therapist with a masters of art in art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, teaches the Brushstrokes Club for residents twice a month. Through the class they have created many of the pieces that will go up for auction. Similar auctions at other Silverado memory care communities have generated thousands of dollars for the cause. Individual works, many of which now hang in offices and homes, have sold for more than $200. The classes and auctions however, represent far more than just the works produced and sold. 

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