ALTOONA, Wis. (AP) — Employees at 20 nursing homes in Wisconsin are receiving training to use poetry as a method of reaching residents with dementia.

The Leader-Telegram reports that the effort known as the national Alzheimer’s Poetry Project has so far been taught across 32 states and seven countries.

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Gary Glazner founded the project. He says staff learns different methods and techniques to create poetry sessions and for other activities.

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River Pines is one of the Wisconsin nursing homes to receive this training. Activity Director Karen Park says the program was introduced after the center was selected for a state grant.

Park says she thinks the program is a great way to get residents to connect with one another. She says it’s also a different way for the staff to touch their lives.

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