A successful partnership with the Art Gallery of Swift Current for the delivery of art therapy to long term residents in that community has led to expansion of the program to facilities in Herbert, Maple Creek, Shaunavon and Eastend.
Recreation therapist Camille Lesiuk secured the unique partnership after recognizing the need for art-based programming in long term care. The Art Gallery received grant funding for a full-time artist to deliver one-year of pilot programming through the Artists in Communities – Residencies Program. Classes are available once a week in each facility. Residents who would benefit from additional programming have access to one-on-one sessions.
The program is inclusive, responsive and adaptive to residents living with cognitive impairment such as dementia or limited ability to speak as well as physical impairments impacting vision, range of motion or motor control. Residents experiment and create art in mediums that complement their individual abilities.
“Residents have increased their quality of life, confidence, social interaction, sense of purpose, and have found new ways of expressing themselves. Those that once believed they weren’t artistic now have their work on display,” Lesiuk said.
Long term care resident Barb has mobility issues with one hand. She initially chose not to attend the art class, believing she would be unable to participate with only one hand.
Eighty-two year old Ben has not painted or drawn since he was 17 years old. As a wonderful storyteller he narrates each of the art pieces he creates.
Artist Shon Profit visits several long term care facilities in southeastern Saskatchewan weekly to provide art-based programming for residents.