Learning from loss: Kingsborough students team up with nursing home residents for art exhibit

Kingsborough Community College students worked with residents at the Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care to spotlight the importance of collaboration for those diagnosed with dementia.
MJHS Health System

Members of the Metropolitan Jewish Health System partnered with Kingsborough Community College earlier this month to remind Brooklynites about aging, memory and the significance of collaboration.

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, the group hosted an art gallery complete with pieces made by dementia care nursing home residents and Kingsborough students.

The event, held at Kingsborough’s Manhattan Beach campus, was a culmination of these mental health studies students’ 15-week internship at the Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care’s dementia care department.  

“Thanks to art, Menorah Center residents and Kingsborough students have bonded in so many incredible ways during the past 15 weeks,” said Dr. Kendra Ray, dementia program director at Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care. “Intergenerational programming like ours is so amazing and effective because older people often open up more and are willing to share their wisdom and life stories, while younger people can help enhance the creativity of residents and appreciate the life lessons they’re receiving in real time.”  

The artwork on display at Kingsborough Community College.MJHS Health System

The gallery was also made possible by the collaboration with “Opening Minds Through Art,” a program funded by the Association of Jewish Aging Services (AJAS).

Dr. Ray shared her gratitude with collaborators stating, “Our thanks to AJAS, JFNA Center for on Aging and Trauma, a project of the Holocaust Survivor Initiative, as well as the Sephardic Home for The Aged Foundation for their funding and support.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 410,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s Disease in New York, with 9.6 percent of people aged 45 and older suffering from some form of memory loss, and experiencing subjective cognitive decline.