Art museum co-creates iPad app for senior health

By Aditi Pai
Share

ArtinthemomentLast month, the CJE Senior Life (formerly Council for Jewish Elderly) and The Art Institute of Chicago launched an iPad app, Art in the Moment, to encourage conversation and engagement in older adults with cognitive disabilities. The app is an extension of their existing joint program, Art in the Moment.

In 2008, NYU Center of Excellence for Brain Aging and Dementia released an evidence-based efficacy evaluation of MoMA's educational program for adults with dementia, Meet Me at MoMA. The evaluation noted that participants found Meet Me at MoMA's warm and interactive educators, intellectual stimulation, and shared experiences for families contributed to the success of the program.

The Department of Education at MoMA used these findings when the museum published Meet Me: Making Art Accessible to People with Dementia. The publication provides educators and healthcare professionals with a guide to create art programs -- which CJE Senior Life and the Art Institute of Chicago used to create their app.

Art in the Moment shows adults a series of well-known pieces of art arranged by themes, such as "Celebrations," and then leads a discussion about the art pieces, in this case how different celebrations are depicted in art. Following this activity, the app offers caregivers and friends the opportunity to collaborate with the user on an art-making activity. Future themes will include Rhythm and Art, Modern Portraits, The Wonder Years, Jewish Artists, American Environment and Everyday Extraordinary, according to the press release.

"The act of observing, talking about and creating art is an alternative way for older adults with dementia to communicate and reflect on their life experiences, and to be actively and fully engaged in the present moment with loved ones and caregivers," the press release said.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America funded the app.