Alzhiemer’s Patients Keep Spark Alive by Sharing Stories

By Jane E. Brody at the New York Times Can you keep the love shining after your partner’s brain has begun to dim? Just ask Denise Tompkins of Naperville, Ill., married 36 years to John, now 69, who has Alzhiemer’s disease. The Tompkinses participated in an unusual eight-week storytelling workshop at Northwestern University that is […]

Beyond the Link: Reflections on the Power of a Residents’ Newsletter

In this follow-up article about one successful resident newsletter, we take a deeper look at the power of this tool as a means of enriching relationships, celebrating individuals, empowering residents, and perhaps most importantly, building community. If you have ever considered the value of a community newsletter in your own setting, this article will provide you with some helpful insights, lessons learned, and encouragement. […]

The Residents’ Newsletter; Strengthening Community Inside a Long-Term Care Facility.

One of the expressive arts programs I facilitate as an art therapist in a retirement community is the Porch Group. The group’s members developed the idea for a residents’ newsletter which they now produce monthly. This is a retelling of the paper’s origin, wherein I begin to address some benefits provided by such a forum. Identifying the need […]

Celebrating the Holidays in a Retirement Community

As I leaned down to release the brake on Pat’s wheelchair, I realized my “bunch of purple grapes” costume might not have been the most practical choice for the Halloween party at the retirement community. I’d pinned twenty balloons to my clothing, making navigation difficult. Still, the crowd clapped and cheered as the Brain Fitness Coordinator in costume as […]

Dancing Through Dementia Case Studies

The following case studies are brief examples of group movement therapy sessions. The individuals highlighted were participants in an adult day center in Chicago. Both individuals were diagnosed with dementia and were in the mid- to late-stage of their illness. They were both in the “lower functioning” movement therapy group entitled “Feelings in Motion” that took place […]