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Kensington Memory Café Summer Club
Join Us Each Thursday Morning in June!
Starting Thursday, June 6th 10:30am-11:30am. Click HERE & RSVP Today!
Open Mobile Menu
Creative Caregiving

Creative Caregiving Support Series: Harnessing the Benefits of Expressive Art Therapy for Seniors

It’s no secret that caregiving can be a challenging journey.

But at The Kensington Reston, we believe it can also be an enriching and rewarding experience through the exploration of different therapeutic ideas. That’s why, years ago, we began exploring the benefits of art therapy for seniors.

To help other caregivers share in the discoveries and benefits of art therapy, we’ve curated a special summer series of free online information events titled “Ready, Set, Summer! Kensington Caregiver Support Series.”

Each one of these free online events is designed to equip caregivers with innovative strategies to uplift their loved ones’ lives.

In this article, we’ll go over the five free events and also discuss some of the exciting research that’s gone into exploring the benefits of art therapy for your loved ones.

As we gear up for parts two and three of the series, we invite you to RSVP and join us on this illuminating journey.

Looking back at Part I

Our series began back on June 28 with Part I: “Creative Communication Strategies to Navigate Summer,” in collaboration with the world-renown Alzheimer’s Association.

This session was a resounding success, equipping participants with strategies to communicate effectively with their loved ones with dementia.

If you missed it, you view the recording of the event on our Youtube page.

Join us for Parts II and III

With Parts II and III just around the corner, we warmly invite you to join us.

Embrace this opportunity to learn about the benefits of music and art therapy and how music can transform your caregiving journey into a more rewarding, enriching experience.

The power of music

Part II, titled “Together in Harmony: How to Meaningfully Use Music with a Loved One with Dementia,” will be led by Tara Jenkins, a Board Certified Music Therapist, and Founder of Harmony in Dementia, on July 12.

This session aims to demonstrate how music can be used as an effective therapeutic tool, especially for those living with dementia.

From stimulating memory recall to reducing stress, music has the power to heal and connect on a profound level.

The benefits of art therapy

The third part of our series is “Art for the Aging Brain,” in collaboration with Opening Minds through Art at Scripps Gerontology Center, on July 19.

Art therapy offers a plethora of benefits for seniors, particularly those grappling with cognitive decline. In this event, we’ll discuss the ways that you can incorporate art therapy into your caregiving.

It provides a unique platform for self-expression, stimulates cognitive abilities, and fosters a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. These benefits can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and isolation.

Can art therapy for seniors combat depression?

Most caregivers who deal with seniors know that depression can be a common problem.

Recently, studies have been conducted using creative arts to combat depression in seniors.

It was found that senior depression is a growing global health concern, burdening millions worldwide. With rates reaching up to 27% in the USA and expected to rise as the population ages, understanding effective approaches for prevention and treatment is crucial.

In this study, creative arts such as art, dance movement, drama, and music were used to target depressive symptoms in older adults. These interventions, led by trained art therapists and other professionals, are showing promise.

In their review of 75 articles (17 art, 13 dance, 4 drama, and 41 music), the study yielded mostly positive findings.

Common positive changes across modalities include physical, intra-personal, cultural, cognitive, and social factors that contribute to reduced depression and symptoms.

These factors included:

  • Increased muscle strength
  • Neurochemical effects
  • Enhanced self-concept
  • Strengthened agency and mastery
  • Processing and communication of emotions
  • Creative expression
  • Aesthetic pleasure
  • Stimulation of memory
  • Improved social skills
  • And increased social connections

However, they add that future research should focus on testing these processes and mechanisms in greater depth.

Meet our life enrichment team

At the heart of artistically-based therapeutic activities at The Kensington Reston is our dedicated life enrichment team, headed by Rebecca Elliott, our on-site Licensed Music Therapist.

Rebecca works tirelessly to integrate music and art into our residents’ daily routines, creating an environment that is not just nurturing but also stimulating and fulfilling.

Upcoming events

Looking ahead, we are excited about Parts IV and V of our series, focusing on caregiver wellness and life balance.

Part IV, “Caregiver Mental Fitness,” features Braden Bishop, a Caregiver Advocate and Former Major League Baseball Player will be broadcast online on August 16.

In Part V, “Weekly Wellness Plan to Find Balance & Joy for a Busy Life,” Gerontologist Sherri Snelling will guide you in creating a balanced lifestyle that brings joy amidst the demands of caregiving.

This final part of our Ready, Set, Summer! Kensington Caregiver Support Series event will happen on August 23.

Each part of our series underscores our commitment to not only improving the lives of our seniors but also supporting the well-being of caregivers.

Creative caregiving with The Kensington Reston

We invite everyone to RSVP and join us for any of these enlightening sessions.

Let’s embrace this opportunity to enhance your caregiving journey with The Kensington Reston community. Our assisted living and memory care caters to all levels of need.

Our three neighborhoods of memory care are for every stage of memory loss. Our Kensington Club is there to provide care for assisted living residents experiencing mild changes in cognition, while Connections and Haven are set for those with the middle to late stages.

At The Kensington Reston, we are committed to Our Promise to love and care for your family as we do our own. Adherence to this Promise means we are always exploring and implementing new therapies to improve and maintain our residents’ quality of life.

As you can see, therapies aren’t limited to just physio, proper nutrition, memory care, or physical rehabilitation (although we pride ourselves in excelling at these as well). Expressive art therapies can create just as many positive results as caring for the body can.

Join us as we explore the power of music and the benefits of art therapy for seniors.

Let’s redefine caregiving together!

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