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Memory-impaired put brush to canvas to support others



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March 19, 2014
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a group of artists has spoken volumes. They reside at Silverado Escondido, a memory-care community that has offered art classes to its residents for nearly 10 years and holds auctions of their work to benefit others with dementia.

The community's third annual Wine & Watercolors Mixer and Silent Auction featuring about 30 paintings by residents drew more than 100 participants and raised more than $1,000 for the San Diego Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. The event represents a practice central to Silverado's care, which is enriching lives of those with dementia by helping them to experience the fulfillment of achievement, giving and engagement.

"The classes and auctions bring joy and a feeling of connection to our residents, as well as showing that people with dementia can lead meaningful lives," says Rick Topete, Community Ambassador for Silverado Escondido. "This is a wonderful celebration of their abilities, not limitations. It helps create community awareness and hope, and of course benefits a cause that is close to all of our hearts."

Wine & Watercolors art show and silent auction was held from 4 – 7 p.m. Thursday, March 6 at Silverado Escondido at 1500 Borden Rd., Escondido. Funds collected were donated in the artists' names to the Alzheimer's Association – San Diego/Imperial Chapter.

Inspired by the Association's Memories in the Making art therapy program, every Monday evening about 10 Silverado Escondido resident artists gather for class, where they create many of the pieces that will go up for auction. Paintings from the previous two shows have sold for several hundred dollars each and hang in offices and homes throughout the area. The classes and auctions however, represent far more than just the works produced and sold.

"Assisting other people is very uplifting, so enabling our residents to serve their community helps them contribute to the world in a meaningful way and restores self-worth," Topete says. "Most residents have participated in non-profit organizations during their lives and we are reconnecting them with something that has always mattered. And art allows people to express themselves without having to use words, which is especially significant for the memory-impaired, because verbal capacity can be affected as the condition progresses. With art, the possibilities can be almost endless."

Silverado was founded in 1996 with the goal of enriching lives of those with memory loss by changing how the world cares for and perceives the cultural stigma of cognitive decline. With locations in eight states – including Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin – the company delivers exceptional care and unmatched service to address the spectrum of changing needs, for individuals and families alike. To learn more, visit silveradocare.com or call (866) 522-8125.

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