Art and Health Creative Gatherings
In the Garden Pines of Sarasota Rehabilitation and Senior Care Community
It looks like a Picasso to me! Beautiful! These exclamations of joy were met with a response of recognition of I know you, you are my friend!
During the summer and fall of 2015 Marcia Calderon and Cynthia Bydlinski, art and health facilitators and professional members of AFHSM, initiated monthly creative gatherings, using the art form of expressive arts, in The Garden, a memory care unit at Pines of Sarasota Rehabilitation and Senior Care Community.
Relying upon visualization techniques, gentle movement, sound and visual art (including collage, markers on paper and beading) gatherings in The Garden brought residents, and often their caregivers, together to create stronger bonds of friendship and community. Observationally, many who participated became more relaxed and at ease, more focused on what they were creating and more engaged with others.
During collage-making, for example, a resident and a caregiver, sitting across the table from one another, began laughing and talking to one another as they shared their works in progress. According to the American Journal of Public Health: There is evidence that engagement with artistic activities, either as an observer of the creative efforts of others or as an initiator of one’s own creative efforts, can enhance one’s moods, emotions, and other psychological states as well as have a salient impact on important physiological parameters.
Providing time for participants to share their creative work and experiences with each other helped to strengthen their personal and community connections—connections that were heartwarming and profound for observers to witness.
Marcia Calderon and Cynthia Bydlinski
Art and Health Facilitators