The Spring Arbor Living of Raleigh’s “Art from the Heart” program puts a paintbrush in the hands of residents who have Alzheimer’s or other memory impairment. The results are amazing. Even Alzheimer's care residents who have struggled with even the most modest tasks of everyday living have astounded all of us with their creative spirits and wonderful creations.
Through the creativity that is unlocked and present through colors and patterns, our memory and Alzheimer's care residents are speaking to us with incredible beauty and grace – proving that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
Telling stories is an age old tradition. At Spring Arbor, we engage our residents who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory loss in getting together and creating entertaining stories, often drawing on personal experiences and memories. Residents gather in small groups and take turns describing a picture – telling a facilitator what they see and what they imagine is happening in the picture. This combines reminiscing with creativity to develop a unique story that is written down and shared with the entire community. Words and pictures are combined to present the completed tale.
Resident: Oh yes, he was a wonderful husband! What are we having for dinner?
The key is to agree with the resident’s wants/needs but gently steer them through conversation to do something else – without the resident realizing that redirection is occurring.
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