How does it work?An professional artist receives GoldMind Arts training, which includes theoretical, observational and experiential components specific to the older adult population. The teaching artist provides a hands-on art making workshop or training at the hosting facility. All materials are included. The artwork at the completion of the workshop can be taken by the participant or used as decoration for the center/space. The workshops, which usually last 1- 1.5 hrs, can be provided as a “one-off” workshop or as regular series (seasonly/monthly/weekly). Site-specific art projects, such as mosaics or murals, can be custom designed to fit your facility’s needs.

Why is Art a part of Healthy Aging? "Successful aging is social involvement versus retreat" - Dr Jeffrey Levine As proven by Dr. Gene Cohen, the first chief of the Center on Aging at the National Institute of Mental Health study, older adults engaged in arts activities:

                •are happier!
                •gain a new sense of identity
                •can live at home longer
                •use less medication
                •fall down less often
                •visit the doctor less
                •suffer fewer ASE (adverse side affects) from medications
                •score lower on loneliness scale
The biggest cost to older Americans is long-term care, so art activities support active living in a community by providing engagement and mastery!! The
#1 problem of older Americans is depression, and the arts directly treat this by offering “Mastery and Engagement” - the two indicators put forth by the US gov for healthy aging.

Why is art making an ideal activity for Dementia patients?"The Parietal Lobe - where creativity happens - doesn't get damaged until the end stages of the disease - this is why creative arts can be of great help, relief and success!” Kerri Mills, Dementia Coach. While persons living with dementia may lose linguistic expression and experience frustration, art provides a wonderful new way to communicate and engage. Art is both emotional and intellectual, so it can provide access to:
                 •unexpressed feelings and emotions
                 •long-term memories
                 •sense of challenge
                 •new skills, perspectives and friends.
In the arts, no one is wrong, and no memory is needed!!

Why use resources for dementia treatment that is not necessarily curative and may only be palliative?The art classes cannot improve the physical condition of a brain affected by dementia, but they can slow down, stop and in some cases reverse the symptoms. The art classes are teaching persons living with dementia adaptive techniques to continue to maximize their new life (living with dementia). As there are no known medicinal options at this time, nor are there any promising ones on the horizon, it is important to offer the people living with this disease today some form of help. The most that the medical world can offer to combat bad behavior or moods brought on by dementia at this time is sedation, and although this helps their caretakers take care of them better, it sets a questionable standard of quality of life. An art class, besides employing a professional, can offer the same benefits (better behavior and moods) without the risks and costs that medication can run (ASE) while also improving the quality of life of the patient.

Why trained professional artists instead of activity directors or volunteers? There is something to be said for a new burst of life coming into a center - it helps to have new and diverse input and energy. Professional artists are continually receiving stimulation from the outside world and bring this into a center when teaching a class. They are adept at dealing with the frustrations and challenges of creating visual art. Volunteers, while wonderful supplemental additions to any programs, cannot have the same professional dedication and preparation that a professional teaching artist can provide, The commitment and preparation required to do this job are significant, and therefore need to be compensated.

Is GoldMind Arts and Aging arts therapy? While GoldMind Arts believes strongly in the therapeutic value of the arts, we are professional teaching artists and not art therapists. Art therapists use art in treatment, assessment and research, while professional artists offer artistic mediums and topics for the participants to engage and master. Our goal is to provide professional art programs to older adults and their caretakers - while our participants may experience benefits similar to those provided by art therapists, we concentrate on the art-making! “Creative Experience Therapeutics” is a protocol designed to stimulate and improve overall brain function. It is not to be confused with “Art Therapy,” which is a method of Psychological Analysis through Art.

 Who can benefit?GoldMind Arts provides art programs for: independent older adults as part of healthy aging, older adults living with dementia and caregivers. GoldMind Art provides training for: CNAs and geriatric nurses, college students and older adult facility staff.

*“The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural programs on the Physical Health, Mental Health, and Social Functioning of Older Adults”, The Gerentologist, vol 46 no 6, 2006 Dr Gene Cohen, Susan Perlstein, Jeff Chapline, Jeane Kelly, Kimberly Firth, Samuel Simmens