Offered through partnership between the Art Gallery of Swift Current and Meadows Long Term Care Home, the Expressive Arts Program enriches the lives of people living in long term care in Swift Current. Classes are led by a local professional artist and enable vulnerable seniors to benefit from creative expression, with a focus on community integration and intergenerational programming. The Expressive Arts Program is designed to provide a valuable form of engagement for residents in long term care, especially those living with dementia or other personal limitations including depression, impaired speech or language skills, social isolation, or limited mobility.
Symbolism and themes emerge as people process their personal lives and the joys or concerns therein. The materials and techniques investigated through artmaking allow residents endless possibilities to build confidence and positive self-image through risk-taking, playful experimentation, and story development. The process provides participants an opportunity to enter the “flow state” of work/play, which may distract them from physical pain or impediment.
This program achieves more than the mere creation of art pieces. Along with the emotional and physical relief provided by the creative process, intergenerational connections are developed between local students and senior residents at the Meadows. Student collaborators from local schools are invited to participate in the program, resulting in mutually beneficial personal and interpersonal relationships. Intergenerational programming allows us to build upon curriculum themes and objectives to form project goals and engage and challenge both groups as they share their knowledge and experiences with one another.
Support for this program will ensure that residents can continue to access high-caliber weekly art therapeutic and community building experiences, which address essential needs of participating residents but are not currently funded by the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Funds will pay professional artists for their engagement in the program and provide essential art making supplies.
Learn more at https://cypresshealth.ca/health-facilities/buildingcapital-projects/completed-projects/swift-current-long-term-care-project/