The Memory Project

The Memory Project is a new, in-person initiative of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan for individuals struggling with early memory loss and their families. Family members and caregivers, meeting in an ongoing support group, work together to increase coping skills while their partners participate in an engaging memory enhancement program. The primary goals are to provide support and connection to the community as well as education, respite, and access to critical resources. The Memory Project incorporates specially designed programs, emphasizing engagement in music and the arts, for individuals experiencing cognitive decline.

The JCC, a large, intergenerational and diverse community, provides a welcoming space that is already a “home away from home” for many. This unique space offers a safe place that is or will quickly become a familiar environment for both caregivers and participants.

The Memory Project aims to:

  • Create a family-focused program in which the needs of the entire family are identified, and caregivers are able to enhance coping skills and learn about available community resources and how to access them.
  • Develop a community of support for the program participants and caregivers.
  • Establish the project at the JCC, which will be a normalizing environment. A variety of programs at the JCC appropriate for this population will be available to the participants.

The program elements include:

  • A weekly, ongoing program with music, dance, movement, and cognitive activities designed for the individuals with memory loss.
  • A support group for caregivers facilitated by an experienced social worker.
  • A separate weekly lounge and conversation respite experience, in a well-supervised setting, where caregivers are encouraged to drop off their participating family member.
  • A fun, intergenerational family day designed around a holiday, and bringing all groups together each semester.

Testimonials

"It is commendable that the JCC is expanding its programming to address the ever-expanding issue of memory loss, a challenge that confronts families throughout the country."

- Caregiver

"I have been improvising these kinds of moves and it has helped getting me clearer and in better spirits. Thank you so much."

- Participant

"I can only say that my wife leaves each session a little happier than when the session began. Of additional support is a concurrent session for caregivers. A first as far as I know."

- Caregiver


Meet the Team

Judith Margolis, MSW, Memory Project Program Director
Jen Cinclair, Program Manager
Linda Cholodenko, Performing Arts Specialist
Judi Gordon, MSW, Support Group Facilitator
Alice Nadelman, Ph.D., Educational Consultant and Trainer
Fran Hamermesh, Community Resource Specialist

This is a project of The Wechsler Center for Modern Aging, under the direction of Susan Lechter.

For more information, contact Judy Margolis at 646-505-4398 or jmargolis@mmjccm.org.


Thank you to our community partners for supporting this project