Fort Worth

Concert Provides Alzheimer's Patients & Families a Rare Treat

Some winners of this year's Van Cliburn International Piano Competition offered free, live musical performances for Alzheimer's patients and their families last week.

And, the Cliburn in the Community concert was Wednesday's Tell Me Something Good.

Cliburn in the Community provides free, live classical musical performances at venues and organizations throughout the Fort Worth area. One of the stops was The Friday Group, a weekly social engagement program offered by the Alzheimer's Association - North Central Texas Chapter.

Theresa Hocker, an executive program director, said 157 guests listened to the beautiful music performed by Kenny Broberg, 2017 Van Cliburn Silver Medalist.

"It was such a terrific event, targeting those who are living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia and their family and caregivers," Hocker said. "The music was exquisite, but what was especially moving were the questions and comments made by attendees afterward - showing how engaged they were and how meaningful the concert had been for most."

"As memory problems progress, affected individuals and their families are reluctant to attempt to do many of the things they did previously," explained Hocker. "Leaving the familiarity and safety of one's home becomes more challenging. The community is not always patient or understanding of problems associated with dementia, so those families dealing with dementia may become quite isolated."

Hocker said the decision to share the annual Cliburn concert with so many others had a positive impact.

"Some attendees had difficulty articulating their thoughts, but the feelings and enthusiasm were apparent," said Hocker. "This rare treat is something these attendees would have never had the opportunity to enjoy without this unique arrangement."

The Alzheimer's Association offers a weekly social engagement program called The Friday Group at its Fort Worth office. The informal weekly gathering of people provides a way to stay socially and mentally engaged, find support and make new friends.

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