”Write on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
In March 2009, the Arts & Humanities Council developed an Art Therapy program to provide training and assistance for professional and family caregivers so that those suffering from dementia can express themselves artistically.
The challenges faced by people with dementia, their loved ones, and caregivers are exacerbated by an inability to communicate, which is an unfortunate but likely consequence of the disease process. The dementia patient may have difficulty finding words, or may experience frustration in trying to put a thought into words.
The program, co-chaired by Carol Lucas, R.N., M.S. and Art Therapist Susan Schmidt, M.A., teaches artists, staff of local facilities, and individual caregivers how to use art to enhance the lives of those living with dementia. Over 150 people have been trained at the Expressions workshops, which are given throughout the community free of charge.
For more information on this program contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program is now being used at 12 sites around the community:
- Burnt Store Presbyterian Church – “A Special Place” Adult Day Respite Program
- Community Life Center – “Friendship Unlimited” Adult Day Respite Program
- Englewood United Methodist Church – “Comfort Connection” Adult Day Respite Program
- Church of the Living Waters – “A Special Time” Adult Day Respite Program
- South Port Square
- Village Place Health and Rehabilitation Center
- Sandhill Gardens
- Courtyard Assisted Living
- Life Care Center Skilled Nursing Facility
- Lexington Manor
- Boca Grande – “Forget-Me-Not” Adult Day Respite Program
- Hospice of Manatee County
- Program professionals developed a workbook outlining projects that can be used in the program. The Council was awarded a grant to publish the Handbook by the Charlotte Community Foundation. The “Art Therapy Training Program Handbook” is provided free within the county and sold elsewhere.
In April 2013, “Expressions from Beautiful Minds” held its third annual fundraiser. The elegant dinner, dance, and auction helps sustain the program and provides support to the Arts & Humanities Council’s ongoing projects.