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Archive for the ‘Nursing Home’ Category

March brings with it blossoms, shamrocks, and all things Irish, and we’ve been itching to get started on these craft and art projects! My excitement over our projects for March got me thinking. Why is art so important? Why do people of all ages enjoy pariticipating in artistic activities? This blog post then begins a three part series on art and artistic expression for seniors with memory loss or Alzheimer’s Disease. While I am by no means an artist or expert on the subject, that is exactly the point. ANYONE…even individuals with significant cognitive decline, can find pathways for expression through art.

Blossoming Tree Project for March

Blossoming Tree Project for March: This picture was made by applying dots of paint by a Q-tip to a pre-printed picture of an empty tree. The use of pink in this picture gives the impression of a cherry tree!

Why Make Art a Priority?

At the Magnolia and Primrose care home, we believe that art and activities are at least as important as medications. Why is that?

  • Art provides other avenues for self-expression which is a huge bonus for individuals with diminishing language capabilities. It uses parts of the brain that are often easier to tap into than language skills and which degenerate slower than other parts of the brain.
  •  Additionally, art therapy can prove calming for some individuals during episodes of agitation. Similar effects are seen with music, animals, and even just viewing art!
  • Art is also useful in building relationships. Caregivers and elders can work together on projects which in turn strengthens their bond together. It can also be used to provide intergenerational interactions between elders and children. Finally, group art projects can build a sense of community in care homes and assisted living facilities. For example, last month each resident was giving a square piece of cardstock with a simple heart outline on it. Each resident was given the opportunity to fill in their hearts with magazine clippings, drawings, or coloring. At the end, all the hearts were combined with pieces of valentine cardstock to create a quilt like effect. The residents were very proud of the beautiful “quilt” they created together!

 To learn more about the intersection between art therapy and neuropsychology, check out this fascinating article about how art therapy can be used and what it does.

Finally, I came across this video from the International Art Therapy Organization in my search for more information about art therapy. It is a fascinating and deeply moving story of a man who started painting for the first time after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Check out their page on neurodegenerative disorders for more information.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_Te-s6M4qc&feature=player_embedded

Blog Posts Coming soon…..

  • 2 of 3: Reaching the InnerArtist: Tips for creating art with those with memory loss
  • 3 of 3: Ideas and Resources for Artistic Expression: Where can you find easy but meaningful projects?
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