Where Arts and Imagination Fuel the MindOur mission is to empower individuals and families to live well with dementia and other brain health issues through the arts and community outreach.
“Isolation is a large contributing factor to increasing the pain and difficulty of having dementia. Our programs are designed to decrease isolation and increase socialization with community support.”
– Dr. Charlie Farrell
After caring for his wife Carolyn, Dr. Charlie Farrell saw the need for programs to help families and those suffering with dementia & Alzheimer’s. He created the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation to provide this need. Dr. Charlie has been diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer’s, so Dr. Charlie has started a personal project where he is sharing living with dementia.
The Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation for Brain Health was established in 2011 when the Farrell Family saw a need in the community. In caring for Carol, wife and mother, we found that there are few activity based programs for people living at home with dementia/Alzheimer’s. We wanted to bring programming to the community in order to help support people’s treatment plan and management of their illness. Our programs are largely arts based and focus on multi-sensory elements. The human senses centered in the brain preserve abilities well into the disease process.
It is often assumed that people with dementia can not participate in daily life activities anymore, and that is not true. When we create activities that are accessible, individuals thrive and find joy in the experience. People with dementia can create, imagine, and have fun.
Most importantly, isolation is a large contributing factor to increasing the pain and difficulty of having dementia. Our programs are designed to decrease isolation and increase socialization with community support.
What We Do
Nancy Mowrey, Tess Wrzesinski, and Jan McKay
Even before COVID, we looked forward to activities with the Farrell Foundation and our newfound friends. But on Zoom, we found a delightful cadre of people who share some of the same challenges we do, and we have been surrounded, virtually, with people who care. We were amazed when we received our free art box, full of supplies for our creative meetings. This allowed us to participate, worry-free. And participate we did! We asked Tess, our 91 year old mother, why she likes meeting with “her friends” on Zoom. She said “They treat me nice and compliment me.” We cannot underestimate how much it means to her, when we log on, to have Jerry and Dr. Charlie, and others boom out “Hi Tess!”. The fact that someone addresses her by name, recognizing her, complimenting her, makes her feel empowered and happy. And while she likes doing her art projects (she actually likes to supervise the most) she especially likes holding them up for everyone to see! And she loves seeing what others have created as well. The art process transforms her to her old sociable self. In fact, we are eternally grateful for the mute button or everyone would hear a lot more teasing from her in every session. For someone who has been home-bound, these meetings feel like outings for her, as well as for her daughters and caregiver. Tess’s Zoom friends have become her real friends, even if she does not remember everyone’s name. We have all felt welcome for who we are and what our situation is – what our lives are all about. And during COVID, the meet-ups were hours of hope that reminded us that we were not alone and that we could weather the storm together. The enrichment programs through the Farrell Foundation keep Tess’s brain in gear, en- gaging her through music, story-telling, sharing, and even cooking. The diversity of ex- periences have ensured that we could provide enrichment experiences that go far beyond the content itself. They are full of acceptance, guidance, encouragement, and caring. They are the “no stress” welcoming hours of our week. Doing these art projects, sing-alongs, and other activities with Tess gave us time together where we all could focus on one endeavor. It brought us together in enjoyment and created times to be closer. It gave us a chance to be complimentary, too, and it gave us a chance to encourage her expression. We think that the same benefits have been given to Tess’s relation- ship with her other caregiver. The fact that Tess can share her art in a gallery, a newsletter or even through photos we share with relatives is one she enjoys. When people ask “How’s your mom?”, we can send a photo of her and a piece of her artwork. They will see her with a big smile. Saying “thank you” to everyone is really not good enough, but it is all we have. Just know that everyone involved is appreciated, and the impact you have on our lives, is frankly, priceless.
We are excited to share that we have re-opened the Center for Artful Living! Guests can now safely return to Farrell Foundation programs. The Foundation will continue to offer programs virtually, allowing multi-platform programming to assure opportunities to either attend in person or from the comfort of our participant’s home. Our weekly calendar is found below on the home page, along with a series of columns sharing previous programs. Everyone is invited to receive our weekly Constant Contact Newsletter. To subscribe, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message at 440-414-0434.
Dr. Charlie Farrell & Jerry Devis
News and Events
Art Supporting Us
We have amazing artists who have donated their work to support us. You can support them and us by buying their work.
All Proceeds benefit the Farrell Foundation programs.
Purchased art works can be picked up at:
Carolyn L Farrell Foundation
26633 Detroit Road, Westlake, 44145
Hours: M-F 9am to 5pm
The Farrell Foundation is generously supported by: