Art as Therapy for Older Adults

This is a collection of short films about Art as Therapy for Older Adults. All of them share certain convictions about the value of art in the lives of elder, such as: the intense involvement while creating, the pleasure of manipulating the media, making decisions, playfulness, social interaction and pride. There are many choices in art which helps the individual feel more in control of their environment, and may reduce the depression often experienced by elders, especially in residential care. The art therapist acts as facilitator, guide and teacher. Clients find that they can trust the art process and as they progress, trust themselves. Art can help tap into early memories for those with dementia. Art therapists recommend: consistency in space and rituals, giving one direction at a time, and working within a small, comfortable, and familiar group. The therapist may spark memories using photos or illustrations, develop subjects from a suggested theme, or suggest expressing emotions using various colors and shapes. The films are:

“Unexpected Pleasures” – Herschel Stroyman, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“Art Therapy: Opportunity Beyond Words” – Cathy Bryan, Cleveland, Ohio
“Extra from I Remember Better When I Paint” – Berna Huebner, Paris, France
“Portrait of Pleasure Endeavors” – Wendy Miller, San Francisco, California
“Why Art is Therapeutic for the Elderly” – Diane Barret, University of Georgia

Total Running Time: 58 minutes, 32 seconds



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