Alzheimer’s Foundation of America awards grant to The Long Island Museum to help dementia-affected people

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) has awarded a grant to the Long Island Museum to support “In the Moment,” a free program designed to creatively engage those living with dementia-related illnesses and their care partners.  

“Art can be a powerful tool to enhance the quality of life for individuals living with a dementia-related illness and their caregivers. It stimulates the mind and creates opportunities for self-expression and socialization,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s president and chief executive officer.  “We are proud to support the Long Island Museum in delivering this impactful program to Long Islanders affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.” 

“This AFA grant has allowed us to purchase a 75” Vibe Smartboard Pro to use as we return to in-person programming,” said Lisa Unander, Director of Education at the Long Island Museum. “We are building upon the lessons we learned through remote engagement and bringing the most successful aspects of these virtual programs to enhance our gallery sessions. Specifically, we have seen how powerful short video clips are as a way to engage and bring themes to life. With this grant, we won’t have to lose techniques we now heavily rely on but instead will be able to incorporate these tools to create even more memorable multi-sensory moments together.” 

The Long Island Museum is dedicated to inspiring people of all ages with an understanding and enjoyment of American art, history and carriages as expressed through the heritage of Long Island and its diverse communities. Located in Stony Brook, they have numerous exhibitions, concerts, film screenings, and educational programs for adults and children. The Long Island Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a Smithsonian Affiliate. 

The $6,000 grant will support the Museum’s “In the Moment” program.  Created in 2011, this innovative program takes individuals living with dementia and their care partners on guided tours of the museum’s collection of art, historical objects, and seasonal exhibits. Additionally, the program offers hands-on art workshops which afford opportunities for creative expression, with all needed materials provided for free. All programs are led by museum educators and designed to be engaging and cognitively stimulating. Programming is currently offered virtually through Zoom and as a hybrid, in-person/virtual option. Since its inception, the program served more than 3,200 individuals, according to the Museum.  

In April 2022, the Museum hosted its first hybrid In the Moment program with the Making Memories at the Movies event. Participants gathered in the museum’s event space to see clips of films accompanied by facilitated discussions by licensed master social worker Marcy Rhodes, to help prompt memories and spark conversation. Participants also joined Zoom from home, assisted living and senior facilities to partake in this wonderful program. 

AFA is able to provide vital services, like this grant, through the generosity of individual contributions, sponsorships and fundraising activities. To help support these initiatives or learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and resources available to help families affected by it, visit 

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