A Spark of Creativity

By on Jul 31, 2019 in Events

Know your way around a canvas? The upcoming National Assisted Living Week is your time to shine –and help your elderly loved ones channel their own artistic side. The annual observance takes place from September 8-14, and this year’s theme is “A Spark of Creativity.”

Now in its 24th year, National Assisted Living Week is an opportunity for residents, family and staff to celebrate the individuals served in assisted living. It’s also a great excuse to explore the different elements and ideas that make up this avenue of long-term care.

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), who organize the week-long event, hope the artistic theme will inspire staff of all levels to host fun, unique activities that enrich the senior living experience for each resident. “‘A Spark of Creativity’ encourages everyone to get their creative juices flowing – whether it’s residents trying out new things, or caregivers exploring innovative ways to improve care and community life,” said Scott Tittle, executive director for the NCAL.

More to Art Than Meets the Eye

Art therapy has long been a recognized method for boosting happiness and stimulating mental ability. Many residents report better well-being after taking part in the arts – and it’s even helpful for those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. By infusing art into the everyday experience of their communities, staff can help their residents sustain a sense of purpose and stay connected with one another.

The great thing about art (and the benefits therein) is that it’s not limited to just painting a picture, which can be a dexterously demanding task for older adults. Some communities put on recreations of famous plays or movie scenes with their residents, coached by local actors. Other senior living providers bring in licensed music therapists who use song and instruments to raise spirits and get residents moving. But you don’t have to recruit professionals to put on a creative event. Activities can be as simple as meditation or reflection exercises, which can inspire new ideas and benefit the mind.

Time to Put Brush to Canvas

Want to take part? Reach out to your local senior living home and offer to host a class or lead an activity in your artistic area of expertise. If you’re already a staff member of an assisted living community, be sure to check out the NCAL’s planning guide for this year. It’s full of simple, creative ideas that are sure to draw residents in.