Art provides healing for Alzheimer's patients in Bedford
For David, a resident at the Arbors of Bedford, the poem "The Sugar Maple Tree," by Diann Sheldon, inspired him to express himself through his painting "Embracing Branches."
David (last names of residents at the Arbors, an assisted-living facility for people with Alzheimer's and other memory-impairment issues, are withheld to protect their dignity) will be among the 15 residents whose artwork will be displayed at the Arbors' art show and silent auction from 5:30 to 7 tonight at 70 Hawthorne Drive. Proceeds from the show will benefit Artz for Alzheimer's, a nonprofit organization that provides access to art and culture to people with Alzheimer's.
Emily Biagiotti, activity director, said she has seen progress in many residents involved in the Arbors' Artful Memories program. During the art sessions, the residents paint with pre-filled brushes as the room fills with soothing music. While some artists need direction, others can work individually in a group setting.
"This is my absolute favorite population to work with," said Biagiotti. "They look at it as something fun. I try to have an example of something so they don't get lost. Sometimes, one step added can be excruciating for some."
"Art therapy helps bring the resident out of their shell," said Dodge. "It's an alternative way for people to express their emotions and communicate."
"Many caretakers feel they have lost a part of their loved one and to see this art is remarkable. It reopens a part of them that was lost," Stadfeld said.
"Allen used to draw maps and was a professional bowler," she said. "He would draw lines and be very happy. He would sit there and concentrate, so it's perfect for him."
"She was an art teacher who traveled the world. She felt her skill level was not what it used to be," said Biagiotti.
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