The Elderhearts™ program reaches out to Alzheimer's and dementia patients with interactive experiences designed to help them reconnect with the world and alleviate the loneliness, isolation and loss that are among the most devastating aspects of dementia. In partnership with successful practitioners in Europe, Lev Leytzan has developed a program that trains our clowns to understand the inner world of Alzheimer's patients better and use special clowning techniques to connect with them.
The Elderhearts™ troupe wear vintage costumes and use props from the 1930s through the 1950s, hearkening back to an era many patients still remember and feel emotionally connected to. Scenes are organized around simple family dynamics that these patients can understand more easily, and their participation is encouraged through playful interaction.
Elderhearts™ clowns learn to incorporate the "anything-goes" contributions their elderly play partners make, and weave them skillfully into everyday domestic scenes. In this way, participants experience the pleasure of shared emotions and common goals, allowing them to set aside, if only for a little while, the suffering they experience.