I am a Shorehaven Art Therapist. I have seen miracles happen daily in my work. In a recent speaking engagement at a local church, I told parishioners what a joy it is to work with Shorehaven seniors. How I am rewarded daily through my outreach to these very special people.
I’ve always felt that this is exactly where God wants me to be. I have been gifted with the desire to be involved in creative pursuits throughout my whole life, and I take extreme pleasure in watching residents express their talents. I know how important that is in creating quality of life for them.
The residents never cease to amaze me. For many, this is their first exposure to the arts. Some of our men with professions that didn’t allow them the opportunity to be creative, are now producing works of art. Or women who were too busy working and raising families are joining the art groups on a regular basis. Ceramics is very popular with our residents because it’s fun, easy to do and produces beautiful results. Families and staff are in awe of some of the work produced. In May, we had an exhibit of residents’ art in the Skywalk, and families, friends and, of course, residents were impressed, inspired and motivated. Because of art, their self-esteem is boosted, and their life is enriched.
I believe everyone has an artist within. My job is to bring out that artist. Each individual has creativity to tap, it’s my job to tap into it. I have witnessed stoke victims unable to speak, find their voice again through their art. Residents unable to grasp, learn to mold a ceramic. Seniors with uncontrollable tremors are able to apply a paint brush. Residents with impaired vision, can begin to see beyond their personal barriers.
Our therapy sessions are filled with residents helping one another, overcoming physical and cognitive hurdles. From acrylics to clay, pastels to collage, watercolor to fabric, everyone has the right to create their next masterpiece. Art therapy helps to ensure that each individual gets that opportunity.