Josephine Brown is the Program Director of New York Memory Center, a nationally recognized dementia day services program providing innovative approaches to care for adults and their caregivers living with a memory disorder. Ms. Brown has over 20 years of experience meeting the needs of seniors and adults living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia through effective methods of therapeutic recreation, personal care, counseling, cognitive training, and administration of programming.
Ms. Brown started serving seniors at the age of 15 at the Madonna Nursing home in Park Slope Brooklyn as a volunteer. For the past 11 years, Ms. Brown has been dedicated to serving the needs of adults living with memory loss as both a Program Manager, and Program Director at the center. To this end, she has developed over the year’s innovative programming that has been recognized nationally for its contribution to the field.
In 2006, Ms. Brown recognized the lack of support and services for individuals living in the earliest stages of memory loss, and thus created Brooklyn’s first early memory loss program, the Lotus Club for adults of all ages. In coalition with a team of social workers she designed the program to include reminiscence therapy, a peer support group, journaling, meditation, and nutritional guidance.
At the time, reminiscence therapy and peer support groups for early memory loss participants were somewhat controversial, and today both methods are considered standards in the field of early memory loss programming. The Brookdale Foundation recognized the Lotus Club as a national model program in 2007.
Over the years, Ms. Brown has expanded programming to include Occupational Therapy students from Columbia University, and New York University; art therapy students from the Visual School of the Arts; providing a free Caregiver Support Group; an AARP volunteer program; recruiting artists in residence and music therapists to impact programming; adding group based and computer based cognitive training; and working with youth groups to provide innovative programming.
Previously, Ms. Brown was a Program Facilitator at Park Slope Senior Center where she lead efforts to add innovative programming for seniors at the center and initiated a program for seniors concerned about memory loss which included exercise, nutrition and art therapy. She also supervised daily nutritional and kitchen duties.
Ms. Brown is certified as Qualified Dementia Care Specialist through the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and certified in Therapeutic Thematic Arts Programming (TTAP). She is trained in counseling, food handling, CPR, nutrition, dementia arts and recreation programming, and is a certified nursing assistant.