The one thing you have that nobody else has is your story

Posts tagged “alzheimers

Services for Seniors

Posted on February 17, 2017

brochure

If you know of someone who could benefit from creating art stories with us, please utilize this brochure by handing out to residents in your community, as well as families who have loved ones struggling with complex age-related issues:

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Bringing Art to Life–an article for Art Therapy Today

Posted on May 8, 2016

It was a joy to write this article for Art Therapy Today!

To read the full text, click here: Bringing Art to Life through Storytelling

art to life

To read the full text, click here: Bringing Art to Life through Storytelling

 

Magazine Heads

Posted on May 4, 2016

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Made by seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s a great exercise in creativity and story telling. This project is also a good assessment to see where an individual is at in regards to constructing a figure and remembering body parts.

City Scene fabric collage

Posted on April 13, 2016

Birmingham’s Iron Man, Vulcan, overlooks the city at night.  Made with loving hands by some of my seniors with Alzheimer’s in Alabama. They all participated with their abilities; ripping fabric, painting, gluing, cutting… this is truly a collaborative piece. Participants had so many stories to share about the city they call home and love. I am honored to listen.

Buzzing Around

Posted on March 4, 2015

I have a memory of the very first time a bee stung me. I was about 5 and playing on a playground in my bare feet. I stepped on a bee and… OUCH!

I’m not sure how this painting was started. Honestly, it was a painting that had been initiated years ago by another art therapist, and I came across it hiding under a pile of things in the art closet. After our group worked on it, It looks entirely different now.

A participant told a story of how his Dad kept bees, and one day he made the poor decision to investigate–resulting in many, many bee stings. Others told stories of their own encounters with bees. And while we were story-telling, we passed the canvas around, each participant dipping their thumb in yellow paint to make a bee on the canvas.

In the end, participants all loved how their painting turned out… even if it did evoke memories of being stung!

The Importance of Reminiscing

Posted on February 18, 2015

 

The group focus at one of my programs has been on using recycled materials for inspiration. Who knew that a stash of styrofoam cubes could evolve into such a beautiful creation! My seniors created this church. It’s been a project that has spanned several weeks and resulted in an overall increase in group participation! During our first session, we painted styrofoam shapes and glued them together to create the church building. When I asked the group what the church needed next, several ladies responded, “The church needs members!” So, we created members using clothespins and fabric scraps. The project continued to evolve and the participants decided at various points that the church also needed a piano, a ceiling fan, a steeple (made from favorite hymns), a pastor & pastor’s wife, pews, the church choir, and stained-glass windows.

During this creative time, I have worked with participants on reminiscing about church life and the role that church has played in each participant’s lifetime. We’ve talked about church attire, falling asleep during a sermon, and the overall level of meaning that a church may or may not have played in each individual’s life. During one session, we listened to gospel music and let me tell you that It gave me chills to hear several participants (who are often very quiet and minimally engaged) begin to sing along with deep southern gospel tunes. This group has some soul y’all!

I think one of my favorite components to this project is how many of my ladies attempt to stick the church members and choir group into their purses! Each session, before group is over I have to count the number of clothespin dolls and check pursues to make sure no one is running away with our group art! And the typical response when I do find a choir member or two in someone’s bag: “Well, how did that get in there?” and then everyone starts to laugh.

Take time to notice the detail and care that my seniors put into this project. I often find that with this population, dimensional activities have a greater impact than other activities. The act of holding the clay/ clothespin/ etc. is very engaging. While art therapy does not focus on the product as much as the process of creating, I can certainly state that this group has been truly proud of their end product (as they should be)!