Thanks to the collaboration with the Sienese Health Society and the UOSD Geriatrics Siena Provincial Area of the South East Tuscany ASL, the “Museums and Alzheimer’s” project – launched in 2018 by the Sienese Museums Foundation and aimed at people living with dementia and those who take care of it – start a new path. After the long pause imposed by the pandemic, therefore, the activities are restarting which, until now aimed only at guests of residential facilities, are now also aimed at people assisted in the family.
Museums and Alzheimer’s programs are designed and conducted by specially trained museum educators and professionals with expertise in geriatrics and dementia care. The meetings have no therapeutic purpose; they want instead promote cultural participation and well-being of people with dementiahelping them to preserve mental health and to keep connected to the life of the community, through the observation of works of art, archaeological finds, scientific or everyday objects, and the proposal of creative activities.
«A generative welfare project – he explains the president of SdS, Giuseppe Gugliotti – which combines cultural activities, social needs and health needs to respond in an innovative way to the needs of sick people and families, integrating and completing the projects for non-self-sufficiency already in place”.
Up to now the activities had mainly been carried out with the guests of the residential structures in the area, thanks to the collaboration, among others, with the ASP Città di Siena and its operators. Now it will start a pilot project aimed specifically at families caring for their loved ones at home. The initiative was possible thanks to a close and fruitful institutional collaboration between the Multidimensional Evaluation Unit (UVM) of the Siena District/Society of Health area and the UOSD Geriatrics of the South East Tuscany ASL which have identified eight people to whom to propose to undertake this path with the active participation of families. «The project is financed with resources from the European Social Fund, provided by the SdS Senese – he specifies Lorenzo Baragatti, director of the Consortium – thanks to which services such as home assistance, professional educator and neuropsychologist have been activated».
The initiative will start from the Museum of Mezzadria Senese in Buonconvento, accredited to carry out these activities through the Pro Loco. All of this is part of the project developed by the Tuscan Museums System for Alzheimer’s (MTA), a network recognized by the Tuscany Region to which, in addition to the Fondazione Musei Senesi, twenty other cultural organizations representing over sixty museums throughout the Tuscan territory adhere.
“The goal of the entire ‘Tuscan Museums for Alzheimer’s’ project is to improve, as far as possible, the quality of life of people with dementia and those who share their daily lives – he says the director of Geriatrics of the Sienese provincial area ASL Toscana sud est, Luciano Gorelli – The museum is understood as a social space, a place for meeting and exchange, a place for learning and discovery, a place where new forms of communication and new resources are created to develop skills and value people. In museums, people with dementia and theirs caregivers they can find answers to various problems with the help of professionals and volunteers, including the possibility of using stimulation interventions».
«For years – he comments Elisa Bruttini, director of FMS – the Fondazione Musei Senesi is engaged in a process of democratization of culture and social inclusion, and promotes the participation of unconventional audiences. Today more than ever, in fact, museums cannot limit themselves to taking care of their collections, but also have the social responsibility of transforming themselves into accessible and friendly spaces that stimulate dialogue and the human growth of those who visit, frequent and live in them. , makes them alive”.
These are the museums that will participate in the Museums & Alzheimer project:
Asciano, Palazzo Corboli Museum
Asciano, Cassioli Museum
Buonconvento, Sienese Sharecropping Museum
Buonconvento, Museum of Sacred Art of the Val d’Arbia
Cetona, Civic Museum for the Prehistory of Monte Cetona
Murlo, Antiquarium of Poggio Civitate Archaeological Museum
Pienza, Palazzo Borgia Diocesan Museum
Poggibonsi, Poggio Imperiale Archaeodrome
Siena, Botanical Museum (the museum is also a member of SIMUS – University Museum System)
Siena, Museum of Medical Instruments (the museum is also a member of SIMUS – University Museum System)
Siena, Rooms of Memory