While providing residents at the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale with art therapy, Linda Levine Madori of Chappaqua noticed that Alzheimer’s patients became “more coherent—they’d start to use language better, they would actually recognize me and start speaking with me during the program.” The nurses noticed as well. “They started coming to me saying, ‘I never heard so-and-so speak with such detail before.’”
Levine Madori realized she was onto something. So she studied the neurosciences and got a PhD at NYU. For her dissertation, she tracked the progress of patients newly diagnosed with mild Alzheimer’s. “My study found a strong correlation between those patients with mild Alzheimer’s who engaged in a full regimen of therapeutic activities and an increase in their cognition one year later—while those who didn’t engage in any such activities decreased in their cognition and psychological well-being.”
She eventually branded a treatment program, dubbed the TTAP (Therapeutic Thematic Arts Programming) Method, which uses the creative arts to help patients with mild and moderate Alzheimer’s.
The Method today is being used in assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, geriatric centers, and rehab facilities nationwide, including several in Westchester, such as Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, the Schnurmacher Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, Andrus on Hudson Long Term Care Community, The Atrium, and Westchester Medical Center. It also is being used in children’s hospitals, including Blythedale Children’s Hospital and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. “We found it to be effective with all population groups,” she says.