Two of the top issues facing seniors in our community today are social isolation and brain health. Recent studies have found that the current
emphasis on living independently at home longer, while it has many benefits, may unintentionally create higher levels of isolation. Feelings of loneliness may be linked to poor cognitive performance and can increase the risk of dementia.
To help address this complex issue, Ovation Communities is rolling out a pilot community outreach program generously supported by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation focused on proactive brain health, stigma reduction, and combating the negative effects of isolation and loneliness. Light and Art Collaboration is a three-pronged approach including education, creative art experiences, and the celebration of life connections and stories.
“The cycle of isolation, depression and memory loss can be a heavy burden for many older adults in our community,” said Dawn Adler, director of Adult Day Center & ReCharge!. “We wanted to reach out in a meaningful way to ensure people feel supported along their journey and help reduce the stigma.”
As the heart of the Jewish community, synagogues are a natural partner for Light and Art Collaboration. The first partner for the program is Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid. The initiative starts with an interactive lecture, Get Proactive with Brain Health. Like any other organ, the brain can be impacted as we age, and there are things people can do to compensate and address challenges. The second component is a Legacy Lights workshop conducted by Dr. David Moss, the founder of The Illumignossi Project, exploring the core Jewish values of legacy and light-spreading through lamp making. Finally, artist Angela Belter, creator of Project Hue, partners with synagogue members to
create paintings translating their life stories into artwork. A congregation-wide celebration ceremony culminates the project.
“We hope that developing deeper relationships with area synagogues will give a face to our organization and raise awareness for the resources we can provide,” said Dana Rubin-Winkelman, Ovation Chai Point Social Worker. “By connecting early, people may have a better understanding of where and how to start looking for help when they, or someone they love, needs it.”
The pilot program is just one of the many offerings provided by Ovation’s growing Adult Day Services division. Over the past 5 years, the Adult Day Center has expanded its services from meeting the needs of 11 families to over 100 through a myriad of programs.
For more information about Adult Day Services, call Dawn Adler 414-277-8838 or Dana Rubin-Winkelman 414-721-9249.