U-M’s memory program serving individuals with dementia raises more than $11,000 on Giving Blueday

April 19, 2021  //  FOUND IN: News
Older adults participating in activities such as painting and gardening.
Pictures of Silver Club programming, with some taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Silver Club Memory Programs has provided activities and socialization for individuals with mild to moderate dementia for the past 23 years.

Part of Michigan Medicine’s Geriatrics Center Community Programs, Silver Club had to pivot its services once the coronavirus pandemic hit. It closed in-person programming in March 2020 and staff quickly mobilized to bring its members interactive virtual activities like virtual trips around the world, trivia and sing-a-longs.

“We were able to maintain our relationships and provide an outlet for our members to socialize and have fun from home,” Silver Club director Shannon Etcheverry said. “This last year has reinforced the notion that connection and socialization is crucial to living well, especially for people with dementia.”

Silver Club reopened in February 2021, offering fitness, music, games, art and discussion activities to its limited membership. In addition to its dementia programming, it also offers mild memory loss programs that focus on creative expression, education and camaraderie.

“I like Silver Club because they’re all nice people. I enjoy being there and having a laugh,” Silver Club member Frank Eagle said.

“I wish to express how much Silver Club has enriched the lives of Frank and myself,” his wife Mary said. “He has spent three years developing new friendships and joy. This is truly a caring, professional staff that has gone above and beyond aiding clients such as my husband to stay in touch, connected and as productive as possible in our new life. And in that process has brought trust and calm to me.”

On Giving Blueday last month, Silver Club raised $11,250, surpassing its goal of $10,000.

“A lot of the featured programs don’t have a strong group of annual supporters and are operating on philanthropic funds,” assistant director of digital fundraising Hannah Runge said. “Giving Blueday, the campus-wide fundraiser, gives these programs an opportunity to raise awareness about their mission and impact in order to gain more supporters.”

Thank you to all who supported Silver Club — and any other program at U-M — on Giving Blueday!

For more information about Silver Club or how to become a member, visit its website.

This story first appeared on clickondetroit.com.