Birmingham, AL program keeps dementia patients lively by connecting them with children

A program for dementia patients in Birmingham has found a formula for bringing a sense of childish wonder and joy to their lives.

At least once a month, children from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Daycare take part in an art class alongside the dementia patients.

“It brings an energy to the room,” said Pam Leonard, program director for CARES (Caring for Adults through Respite, Enrichment and Socialization). “They get excited about having little ones in their space.”

CARES was launched four years ago for Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients. Sponsored by Collat Jewish Family Services, the program meets Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the campus of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Cahaba Heights.

The program started at Knesseth Israel Congregation on Overton Road, but when that building was listed for sale, Collat Executive Director Lauren Schwartz began looking for another place to meet.

Continue reading on


get updates