Working with the Elderly
Led by guest tutor Michelle Redgrave-Moore, our second year students have been learning about working with Older People and how to support those with Dementia, stroke or disability making therapeutic arts accessible and inclusive.
Starting off with a group discussion the students looked at both the decline and the potential for growth on the aging person (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual).
There was an Introduction to the 12 Senses (Anthroposophical Model) and how the senses can be a useful basis for therapeutic arts approach with all client groups.
Students then took part in an artistic exercise focusing on the senses of Smell & Taste creating an artistic sensory session which can be adapted to older people of all abilities.
There followed a brief overview of the brain and how memory is formed and stored before the first day concluded with Reminiscence Work and how using themes may help people with dementia orientate themselves in the world (i.e. autumn leaf projects in Autumn).
On the second day we looked at how creative exercises can involve all three sense realms (body senses, soul senses, spiritual-social senses).
All the students took part in an artistic exercise firstly on one’s own and then contributing to the same exercise in a group – looking at its practicalities.
Focusing on the Touch Sense (body sense), students studied the therapeutic benefits and practicalities of using various media, using wet felting as an example.
The afternoon exercise looked at using simple themes to enliven the imagination, its link to memory, and what the creative narrative may reveal above the individual.
Students looked at how creating 3D sensory Mandalas with older people can be fun – sensing one’s own boundary and the boundaries of another in creative collaboration.
The module on the Elderly ended reflecting on existing case studies and the students own experiences over the last four days.
You can see more of the artwork created by the students during the workshop by visiting our Facebook page
Michelle Redgrave Moore runs www.artscounselling.co.uk.