Q: What kind of role can the arts play in a retirement living facility?
A: “Throughout different levels of care, the arts may provide individual benefits, which may be different,” says Cathy Bryan, coordinator of creative arts and art therapy at Judson. “But what is wonderful is that we can provide the continuity of our opportunities, no matter what the decline or the change in physical ability or illness or loss. Art is really a whole different part of the brain, so we can use music and art to do all kinds of things. Our [residents] are just very curious and want to keep learning, so the arts offer opportunities, especially for people who don’t have words or have had a stroke and they can’t talk. They don’t need words in art, so it’s a lot of communication beyond words and personal expression. Maybe [it’s] even showing a husband and wife how they can communicate within and understand each other’s expression nonverbally or having them do art together or having the whole family do art.”