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U-M’s memory program serving individuals with dementia hopes to raise $10K on Giving Blueday

Giving Blueday is U-M’s official day of giving each year

Silver Club members participate in a storytelling event. (Silver Club)

ANN ARBOR – 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 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 in a statement. “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, 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 comradery.

Silver Club members attend a variety of programs. (Silver Club)

“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.”

Silver Club hopes to raise $10,000 on Giving Blueday -- University of Michigan’s annual day of giving that will start at 12 a.m. and end at 11:59 p.m on March 10.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

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

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.