By Carrie Esselman, Therapeutic Recreational Specialist at Valley VNA

In a previous blog, we explained how music therapy can unlock parts of a person’s brain that still functions despite the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. In a similar way, artistic expression can awaken responses in older adults who are losing their ability to use language to express themselves. Artistry enhances the lives of the elderly by bringing happiness and fulfillment to often frustrating circumstances.

Art therapy

Art therapy for seniors relieves anxiety and helps them express their emotions.

At Valley VNA, we invest heavily in art therapy for our residents as part of our highly respected life enrichment programs for both residents and in-home care clients. Here are several reasons why:

  • Share what we know. Creativity is just plain fun. Clients and residents of Valley VNA are a talented bunch. We help them get the supplies and space they need to share the talents they bring to Valley VNA after a lifetime of woodworking, knitting, painting and beyond.
  • Look what I made! Senior artists reestablish value in themselves and others. Residents express their stories, talents, and interests creatively and this helps decrease feelings of isolation and anxiety.
  • Pick up that paintbrush. Creating art improves motor skills.
  • New art, new memories. Creativity produces new memories, which results in strong brain plasticity, or new brain changes (also called neural pathways) even in the midst of aging and cognitive change. The use of art therapy for seniors even helps the brain’s two hemispheres work more in tandem.

To learn more about life enrichment programs at Valley VNA, or to volunteer to share your talents and assist in the life enrichment department, please call (920) 727-5555.