Priority Health and GRAM use art to help those with memory loss

Priority Health

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Priority Health has partnered with Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) to connect those with Alzheimer’s, dementia and traumatic brain injury to the museums art collection and exhibitions.

GRAM’s mission is to connect people through art, creativity and design by offering programs such as Gazing at GRAM. In partnership with Priority Health and their passion for behavioral health, they were able to allign their values and offer this program to a community in need.

This program allows the Alzheimer’s, dementia and traumatic brain injury community to go through multiple galleries, photographs, painting, sculptures and connect them with memories that might have been lost.

The human brain devotes more processing power to the visual image than any other function of the brain. For an audiance that is dealing with memory loss and traumatic brain injury, the more of the brain that can be activated the more likely it is to pull on deep seated memories, past experience and awaken things with in them that they may not remember.

These programs have gone virtual to ensure safty during the pandemic. The docents or volunteer teachers work with the group to select works of art from the museum collection or changing exhibitions. Then lead a very conversational tour within in the galleries to help draw on past memories and experiences.

Often times, during the program the art triggers memories and the participants are able to connect and refect on commonalities withing their memory. GRAM shares that they see memories spark and lit up faces when something that was lost is remembered and they want to share that with everyone possible.

This program also helps to connect this community in ways they have not been able to connect with other people, especially during the pandemic. Due to the pandemic seniors are isolated and loney. This program hels to reaffirm their value and heal them. Gazing at GRAM is a faciniating, inovative experience that helps to bring wellness and health back to the senior population.

For more information or to register a loved one for this experience visit Grand Rapids Art Museum’s website or contact Kristen Hoeker at or (616 )831-2930.

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