Who Can Participate in the Artfully Aging Watercolor Program?

Mary Beth Flynn | 15 February, 2021


          
            Who Can Participate in the Artfully Aging Watercolor Program?

Everyone can participate in the Artfully Aging watercolor program!  Artfully Aging is designed to benefit every level of senior care from Independent Living (IL) to advanced Memory Care (MC).  No skills or experience are required to participate.

Artfully Aging believes everyone is an artist and that all who participate, no matter skill or cognitive ability, can reap the many benefits. The focus is on the experience rather than the end product.  Through the training videos available to all participating communities activity staff receive training in watercolor basics as well as approaches to working with different care levels.  Also, each watercolor project comes with it's own short step by step instructional video thus making the program available to all levels of care.

For instance, when assisting an IL group, activity staff may want to view the instructional video with the group as well as allow them to start and stop the video as they independently follow along.  Also, IL groups may spend more time on their projects pouring over and individualizing details.  Some  (AL)  and Skilled Nursing/Rehab participants may fall into this approach as well.  This can be a gray area, staff will need to be sensitive to the various abilities within the group.

On the other hand, when working with participants having declined cognitive ability such as a Memory Care group, expectations need to be adjusted and more assistance provided. It will be important for activity staff to view program training videos ahead of the activity so they will be able to lead the group with a more hands on approach. Even when eye hand coordination or fine motor skills have declined there are techniques for helping these residents to experience the joy of applying paint to paper.  This is called the hand over hand technique and is demonstrated in our training video.

The important message here is that all can participate and all who participate can benefit!