“Bill could not speak but his artwork became his voice. He loved to fill his paper with complex horizontal layers of dark, warm, earthy watercolors. He wasn’t satisfied until the whole paper was filled. If he hadn’t finished the work at the end of the session, he was happy to come back to that specific unfinished painting during our next meeting. It turned out that he was a prominent geologist for many years.
“It is the joy and habit of making art that encourages arts engagement as a sustainable activity. Persons with Alzheimer’s/Dementia may not recall what they had accomplished minutes before or even their own name, still the creative process in them locks into a continuum often beyond our expectations.
“Art on a regular basis builds muscle memory if not mind memory as we know it. Conversely, one-shot arts experiences are fruitless. Imagine taking one dance lesson and expecting to have the movements down! Committing to a routine and habit of art, whether it’s on a daily or weekly basis, will foster a relationship of trust, accomplishment and joy through the connection you share.”