Each of the older adults we serve at UMRC has a unique talent or gift to share. Our residents of Towsley Village Memory Care Center are no exception. This week, UMRC celebrated Older Americans Month with a Talent Show and Art Exhibition at Chelsea Retirement Community. Many of our Towsley Village residents were gracious enough to share examples of their creative expression with the rest of the community.
“Everyone’s capacities and talents shift and change over the years,” says UMRC’s dementia care specialist, Katie Garvey. “Some of our exhibitors are budding artists, some are experienced participants. The subjects and forms shown reflect what is most important and dear to each.”
Family farms, flowers, and beloved pets were among the favorite subjects on display, artfully depicted with paints and pastels.
Kathy H. said of her painting, “Alabama Farm”: This is a barn on my family farm where I lived until I was 10 years old. We had chickens, pigs, cows, and raised cash crops on 350 acres. I liked to gather the eggs. We moved to Michigan so my dad could work in the factory.”
Myrna M.’s painting, “Sweetface,” captures her dear cat’s gentle nature: “She was my constant companion, snuggling up under the covers, purring and licking my face.”
Studies have shown that expressive arts are an important component of healthy aging, with benefits that enhance well-being and quality of life. Research demonstrates that the “imagination and creativity of older adults can flourish in later life, helping them to realize unique, unlived potentials.” The arts have also shown to assist with cognitive function for those living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (Aging: What’s Art Got To Do With It? Bagan, B., todaysgeriatricmedicine.com).
UMRC strives to provide meaningful arts experiences for its residents through a variety of Life Enrichment activities, the Music and Memory program, and Artful Aging classes, part of a grant from Aroha Philanthropies.
UMRC’s Towsley Village has long been a model for innovative care for adults experiencing brain changes. For more information about UMRC’s Towsley Village, visit umrc.com