Sunday, April 30, 2017

Art attack: Benefits of art projects for seniors

In Munich, Germany, one of the city’s largest senior care providers ran an intercultural awareness program for its residents. In cooperation with artists from Munich, the program curated an exhibition that presented artworks that emphasized fabrics, a material that is synonymous with care and comfort.

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The artworks, which included photographic wall collages and a digital video frame that presented an animated slide show, had served two purposes: to allow the viewers to reflect on their culture and the past and to create an environment where residents, staff, and visitors can easily discuss insights and stories. 

This is just an example of how art projects can help seniors cope better with their current situation and to age well.

In a study presented in the Journal of Aging Studies, it was determined that six factors contribute to successful aging, namely, a “sense of purpose, interactions with others, personal growth, self-acceptance, autonomy, and health.” Arts and similar creative pursuits can help seniors achieve all six of them. Thus, retirement communities and senior housings should create art projects that their residents can participate and enjoy in. There are options other than setting up art exhibits or displays, such as painting, crafts, art therapy, listening to music, and dancing. 

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Southern Methodist University alumna Alan Naul established Javelin Group LLC in 2004. The company and its affiliates develop, sponsor, and invest in commercial real estate projects, focusing on the senior living and the hospitality sectors. Visit this website to read more information about the company.