Arts Programming for Older Adults Benefits All

As baby boomers age and people live longer, the numbers of people needing home health, assisted living, skilled nursing and dementia are rising quickly.   Caregiver turnover rates are alarmingly high, resulting in higher healthcare costs and lower quality of care.  We feel engaging the community in service of our old, frail adults is important for several reasons:

For participants:

  • Supports them by bringing creative, compassionate community members in to interface in programs that inspire, comfort and uplift
  • Provides opportunities for mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, psycho-social stimulation and benefits
  • Allows their caregivers to see them in a new light and develop greater appreciation for their clients as individuals and not by their disease, age or disability
  • Provides opportunities to explore new creative engagement options, that enable legacy work and may create a sense of purpose in a life where new limitations to living fully are imposed frequently

For staff:

  • Learning opportunities for new ways to engage with residents.
  • Help see residents in a new light.
  • Be uplifted to know residents are happier and receiving additional services
  • Inspires/empowers staff to use their creative gifts at work, improving morale
  • Regular programming may help retain quality staff and reduce turnover


For family members, friends and loved ones:

  • Shows them new ways for positive engagement
  • Creates quality moments where words are not needed
  • Helps them appreciate their loved ones abilities and see beyond infirmity, death and dying

For artists:

  • Provides them with an additional source of volunteer and/or paid programming
  • Allows them to use their creative gifts in service to others
  • May allow them to expand on their marketability by refining and expanding their offerings, collaborate with and learn from others
  • Helps them appreciate people from different backgrounds, generations and abilities


For volunteers:

  • A rare opportunity to work with older adults in a safe, fun, creative environment
  • Increases appreciation for older adults; reduce discrimination and marginalization against older adults
  • A priceless opportunity to learn many things from older adults
  • Better understand the life cycle, humanism, person-centered care, death and dying, living at an advanced old age