The Creative Expressions program is a unique opportunity for patients being treated with middle to late stage dementia, and their caregivers, to interact, create and experience art. Through participation in weekly, one hour sessions led by Therapeutic Recreationists from the Behavioural Health Unit, patients are able to express themselves, bond with their caregivers and most importantly, have a positive and engaging experience. Activities can range from hands-on art creation like painting and sculpting, to visiting the Art Gallery of Hamilton to experience art in a new setting and be out in the community.
All activities are focused on patient engagement in order to enhance strengths and abilities rather than emphasizing the challenges associated with their individual conditions. The Creative Expressions program can accommodate 8-10 patients at a time and runs year round. The Behavioural Health unit, where patients participating in the program, treated 144 seniors this past year.
Currently, the program runs thanks to the resourcefulness of the Therapeutic Recreationists . From using left over materials to engaging their own networks, they manage to plan a diverse selection of activities. With the support of the GIVE65 Initiative, proceeds will be used to purchase art supplies, arrange future trips for art experiences (such as visiting the Art Gallery of Hamilton) and fund visits from art enthusiasts and experts to lead sessions within St. Peter's Hospital. Having funds dedicated specifically for the Creative Expressions program will ensure patients are able to take part in unique, engaging and enjoyable experiences that are focused on their own self-expression and quality of life.
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