Josephine Brown is the Executive 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 30 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. She moved on to staff as a Program Facilitator at Park Slope Senior Center where she led 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.
In August 2000, Josephine joined the program staff of Park Slope Geriatric Day Center’s Family Resource Center. She worked as Program Manager and Program Director at PSGDC’s purpose-built dementia center. In 2006, Josephine 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.
When PSGDC’s second center closed in 2011 and focused its programming for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia under the new name New York Memory Center, Josephine was appointed Program Director for the remodeled 14th Street center. She continued to develop innovative programming that has been recognized nationally for its contribution to the field. In 2014 Josephine was an honoree of the Brooklyn Women of Distinction awards for her work in the field.
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.
Josephine Brown was appointed Executive Director of New York Memory Center in April 2016, where she continues to grow and expand the Center’s programs for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia and their caregivers.