Delilah Dominguez, MSW ‘14

Delilah Dominguez believes that art makes life worth living. That is why her work as the director of Early Memory Loss Programs at AGE (Austin Groups for the Elderly) of Central Texas uses creativity and arts to help those suffering with memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

“Any artistic endeavor is an expression and affirmation of human existence and our lived experience,” she said.

Dominguez received her master’s in social work in 2014 from The University of Texas. During her time at UT, she was the recipient of a Gerontology Resources and the Aging Community in Education (GRACE) fellowship supported by the St. David’s Foundation. It was this gift that enabled her to pursue her true passion within her field.

“Philanthropy made college an affordable reality for me,” Dominguez said. “Without the generous assistance I received from the St. David’s Foundation through the GRACE Program, I would not have been able to afford to study at the School of Social Work.”

Dominguez currently works with people who have memory loss such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementias and mild cognitive impairment. She uses art in treatment to allow them to create and define their sense of self in the moment.

“Memory loss often forces people to live more immediately in the present moment,” Dominguez said. “When the arts are used as interventions with this population, it is possible to achieve true person-centered care.”