ART THERAPY AND MEMORY CARE
The Art Therapy Institute’s Memory Care Program serves older adults living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The program provides residents at local assisted living facilities the opportunity to participate in art therapy groups twice a month. Art therapy enables memory care clients to communicate and express themselves in ways that seem to bypass some of the problems of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Since the groups began, residents have explored many art forms and materials to improve their ability to focus and develop a sense of mastery and control. The group approach offers the artists the opportunity to build relationships and socially connect while awakening a sense of curiosity and interest through self expression. The Memory Care Program encourages group members to honor their life stories and expand their sense of purpose.
Artists in the Memory Care Program love sharing their artwork both inside and outside of the groups. In the groups, artists always enjoy sharing their accomplishments with one another and providing encouragement and support while others share. Often, the artists express a sense of pride and increased self esteem as they review their successes. Group members have their art exhibited in an in-house gallery. The gallery provides artists with a rewarding sense of accomplishment and acts as a consistent reminder of their capabilities and strengths. The gallery was created to celebrate the artists and provide a space to share with caregivers, family members, staff and other residents. The group created notecards featuring their original artwork to sell to raise funds for ALZNC and continued financial support for the Memory Care Program.