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Seniors and Artistic Expression

Senior painting

@SueGuest asked a great question on Twitter yesterday in response to our blog post about our upcoming professional conference, ARTZ and Dementia: Innovation, Inclusion & Creative Expression.

Sue said: "I'm a big believer in the arts as a great way of expression for all ages, what do your seniors love doing the most?"

Here is my long version answer:

Sue, great question!  Our work is very “resident centered” so we want to offer modalities that inspire and support each individual’s needs.  At NewBridge, our memory support programming team is comprised of many expressive arts therapists.  Several focus primarily on music.  Their work seems to be the most universal and enjoyed by almost all of our residents.  You might come across a group of elders drumming, improvising with different instruments, song writing, etc.  The director of our program team is an art therapist.  Her work is also popular, whether she is leading a painting workshop, collage making group or sculpture class. We also do expressive movement programs and writing groups.  Whatever the modality, all of our work revolves around the process of the experience and not the product, and  the meaning it has for each person involved. 

Thanks for asking!  

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Tara Fleming Caruso, MA, LMHC's picture

About the Blogger

Collaborative Care Advisor at NewBridge on the Charles

Tara serves as the collaborative care advisor for the NewBridge campus, making her an important resource for each of our residents and their families. Tara helps each senior moving to NewBridge both understand and access the variety of supports our continuum of care offers so each can live their best life possible. Tara brings almost 25 years of elder care experience to this role, including developing an expressive therapy program in a skilled nursing facility, serving as a program manager at a dementia-specific assisted living, and working at NewBridge on the Charles since 2009. She is a...

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Hi Tara, this all sounds so wonderful and I love the way the arts - in all aspects - can inspire people of all ages. I currently volunteer with my local gallery who have introduced art classes into a Senior Living home particularly for those with dementia. It's lovely to see the residents enjoying the classes and bonding with each other. Art is an amazing way to inspire and unite! Sue

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