Maggie and Thomas recently interviewed Gary Glazner, founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project (APP). In this podcast, Gary explores the power of the arts in empowering individuals with a dementia diagnosis. Throughout the conversation, the group discusses the significance of creativity, ambiguity, expression, and sensory stimulation for these individuals and their families.
Established in 2013, the APP attempts "to improve the quality of life of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia by facilitating creative expression through poetry." APP was the recipient of the 2013, Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Award, as well as the 2012 MetLife Foundation Creativity and Aging in America Leadership Award, in the category of Community Engagement. In 2013, the National Endowment for the Arts listed the APP as a “best practice.”
Mr. Glazner is also the author of “Dementia Arts: Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care,” on Health Professionals Press, 2014. Additionally, his work has been published by Harper Collins, W.W. Norton and Salon.com. Per the APP website, programming has reached 26 states domestically, as well as Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Poland, and South Korea, serving over 35,000 people living with dementia.
This week, Thomas and Maggie interviewed Reverend Jeanne Phillips, a Hospice Spiritual Care Counselor. Jeanne discusses the various manifestations of spiritual care, and how meaningful it can be for individuals with a dementia diagnosis, particularly at the end of life.
Reverend Jeanne Phillips has been working as a Hospice Chaplain/Spiritual Care Counselor at LightBridge Hospice in San Diego for 10 years, providing spiritual and emotional support for patients with terminal illnesses and their families. She also serves as Staff Minister at Vision Center for Spiritual Living, leading the Compassionate Care Ministry as well as teaching, guest speaking and supporting the Communications Ministry. She has worked in the Chaplaincy field for more than 15 years and completed 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education in 2009. She has been a licensed spiritual counselor since 1996 and became a CSL Minister in 2013 after earning her MA degree in Consciousness Studies at the Holmes Institute, Centers of Spiritual Living.
This week's interview is with Nancy Schier Anzelmo, MSG, and Paula Hertel, MSW, co-founders of Connected Horse. Nancy and Paula are long-time professionals in the field of dementia care, and they recently turned their collective focus toward equine-guided workshops. According to their website, Connected Horse "offers human-animal connection, engagement and understanding" through innovative workshops that engage the individual, their caretaker, and the horse. This research-based workshop provides space for learning and engagement that the pair would otherwise not have in their home environment, opening both to a unique experience each time.
Fun Fact: Paula Hertel is also the Chair of the Board for the Presence Care Project, which we featured in our podcast interview with Ymkje Dioquino, MS, LMFT, the COO of the Presence Care Project.
Thomas Baird LCSW
Maggie Dawson MSW