Art created by seniors to be auctioned for charity

10/14/2014
Location : Cypresswood

Houston Chronicle, Lindsay Peyton, HOUSTON, TX, October 14, 2014 -

Silverado Cypresswood Memory Care Community, an assisted living facility for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's, is opening its doors for an evening of wine and art - all to benefit a good cause.

The Wine & Watercolors Mixer and Silent Auction will be 5-7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Silverado Cypresswood facility, 10225 Cypresswood Drive.

The event is free and open to the public.

The auction will feature 20 paintings created by residents. Funds collected from the sales will be donated in the artists' names to the Northwest Houston Alzheimer's Association.

Administrator Chris Holland said residents have been receiving art instruction from Art Class, Wine Glass, a local company that offers painting lessons and parties.

"We have several residents who do art, and after a period of time, we have so many paintings, we do a public auction," Holland said. "And we want to invite the community to come out and look at the art."

He said Silverado's mission is enrich lives of those with dementia by providing engaging activities.

"The art is just a part of our therapeutic programming," Holland said.

The center has a gym, a sunroom, a list of activities, walking paths, resident garden and options for outings ranging from sports bars and tearooms to Astros games and concerts.

"Our founders pioneered the way dementia care is done today, making sure residents are treated with dignity as adults and provided with excellent service," Holland said.

The community also has two resident dogs, Sandy and Cassie, that provide extra companionship.

Holland said there are cooking clubs and social organizations, as well as the art group, "Masterpiece Art Club."

Senior community ambassador Gigi McCorkle invited Art Class, Wine Glass to partner with Silverado Cypresswood and add more to the community's art offerings.

The residents meet twice a month, and paint their own versions of the same project.

"Each resident has their own unique interpretation," McCorkle said. "It's really beautiful to see their creativity."

She said some of the nonverbal residents are painting with the group. "It's amazing to see what they are able to create," she said.

McCorkle believes offering art is an important benefit for Silverado residents.

"We focus not only on meeting our residents' medical needs, but also their social and emotional needs," she said. "We care for beginning, mid-stage and late stage-dementia patients. We have programming in place for each stage. Our focus is on meeting the needs of that person at whatever stage."

Ann Marie McDonald, regional outreach manager for the Northwest Houston Alzheimer's Association, said that the program proves that people with dementia can lead meaningful lives.

"We want people to see another picture of people with Alzheimer's," she said. "They are still creative, and there's still a lot going on inside. This event is a great opportunity for awareness."

McDonald said the Alzheimer's association hosts a support group at Silverado.

"We have a great relationship," she said. "It's really great to have partners in the community."

The Alzheimer's association is working to eliminate the disease through the advancement of research.

The organization also seeks to provide better care and more support for all affected by Alzheimer's and works to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

McDonald said she is grateful that Silverado Cypresswood is donating funds to her organization.

"We really appreciate the generosity of Silverado," she said. "We need the money for research and we need money to support our local programs. Most of the services we offer are free. We can only continue to do that with support from the community."

Holland said that the wine mixer and art auction is a community celebration of the residents' abilities, not limitations.

"I would encourage people to come and see the amazing things our residents can do, and to donate to this great cause," he said.

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