Monday, April 16, 2012

ArtCare In Practice

It is hard to describe what ArtCare is, which we use for our programs of the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation for Brain Health. ArtCare is not art therapy. Our goal is not to cure an illness because so many of the diseases of the brain can not be cured. Particularly with dementia, there is no cure. What people really need is socialization, joy, and the feeling that they can still contribute something beautiful to the world. For our friends with dementia, this is what we are using ArtCare for. For our other programs for mental illness, ArtCare can help in the treatment process, but again it is not a cure. ArtCare is used to bring focus, purpose, and meaning into people's lives.

The art that we have been focusing on for our friends with dementia is abstract art. In the later stages of dementia and people struggling with Parkinson's or arthritis, detailed art that looks like an object is too frustrating to create. Art where you can let your imagination soar is the aim of our program. However, it is hard to get people to let go of thinking art has to look like something, be something, and just have fun like they probably did when they were little. However, as people get used to the process, they see the beautiful things they can create just by using their imagination and letting go of any art "rules" they thought existed. We always say in our programs that there are no rules and you can't make a mistake. Whatever you do is exactly right just the way it is.

Here are a few examples of the art they have created which will be auctioned off at the Alzheimer's Association Cleveland Chapter A Celebration of Hope dinner on April 26, 2012 :

Zentangles art practice. Calligraphy by Mike Gold, CLF Foundation Board Member.

Papercrafting. Individual collages made with patterned paper, cut to create one piece of artwork.


Rev. Katie

1 comment:

  1. I agree. In some medical cases, the approach of improving the quality of life is better than painful and expensive treatments with relatively no chance of success.