New art program will be great benefit for Boyle seniors

Published 5:14 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2020


The Advocate-Messenger

We’re very excited about a new program coming from the Art Center of the Bluegrass this spring, which will help seniors with dementia enjoy and create art.

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The program is a collaborative effort of many different groups in the community: A recent training event was paid for by the Hudson Ellis Fund of the Bluegrass Community Foundation; the ongoing program is being funded by Ephraim McDowell Health and an assisted living community, Morning Pointe of Danville; the program itself is being organized by the art center; and local senior communities will be participating — and ultimately benefiting.

The ACB program will “bring together adults with dementia and their care-partners for facilitated art-viewing and art-making activities,” according to an article from Kate Snyder we published previously.

At the recent training held in preparation for the program’s launch, “staff and volunteers practiced leading gallery talks that focused on deep observation of a single work of art, along with group discussion of that work,” Snyder wrote. “They learned to weave together elements of museum education and art history with open-ended questions that prompt participants to make personal connections to the art from their own life experiences.

“The training participants also learned tips and techniques for art-making with adults with dementia, including adaptive tools that make it easier for those adults to interact with the art materials.”

Engaging with art can have immense impact on mental health. It can make you think, change your perspective and brighten your mood. Engaging with art with other people offers an added social interaction benefit that may be missing for many seniors who find themselves increasingly isolated as they get older.

Dementia can be a heartbreaking health issue to deal with. Some days, it can feel as if your spouse, parent or grandparent is gone, even though they might still be right there next to you.

People suffering from dementia may never be who they were again, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be happy, or that their family members can’t share happy moments with them now.

This ACB program will help provide a new way to encounter those happy moments, which is a truly wonderful gift.

Fortunately, our community is already better at caring for its older residents than most. We have a large retirement community; many clubs and organizations that provide seniors with activities and social interaction; and multiple retirement homes and communities that provide a high quality of life for residents.

This program from the ACB will further solidify Danville and Boyle County as one the best places in Kentucky for senior citizens to live.