HORNE: Healing power of creativity and connection

Columnist Marjorie Horne says disconnected lines of communication for seniors with dementia can be given a spark

  • Oct. 21, 2014 6:00 a.m.

When I worked with residents and their families in a residential care setting, a wonderful project that we initiated was setting up a Snoezelen Program to benefit the well-being of our residents.

Snoezelen was a concept defined in the late 1970s by two Dutch therapists, Jan Hulsegge and Ad Verheaul.

They discovered through their research and practice that providing stimulation and relaxation through the use of smell, touch, sound, colour, and light helped people suffering from cognitive, sensory and physical disabilities to connect and communicate.

We introduced this concept as a way to support family members and their loved ones to engage together when active verbalization had become limited due to advancing dementia.

Staff also took a cart filled with Snoezelen products offering music, lighting effects and gentle vibrations into a resident’s room to help soothe or interact with them through sound, sight and touch.

I will never forget the first time I took a projector into the room of one of our residents who was in the advanced stage of Alzheimer’s Disease.

As the moving picture was reflected on one wall of her room, she began to intently watch the flickering of lights and colours and did so for well over an hour.

It was such a joy to share an incredible moment of connection with her.

Can creativity and stimulation of our senses help to reconnect us when a pathway in the brain has been lost?

Even if dementia has not rooted itself in our brain, we can disconnect from our own inner world and not know how to get back to feeling, sensing and intuitively trusting that we need to stay engaged with life and joined with others.

Karen Close, one of the key pioneers of creative aging in Canada, is an ardent advocate for the healing power of creativity and connection.

She is the founder of heART Fit, a class that is open to the public every Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Rotary Centre for the Arts here in Kelowna.

Here, ideas about painting and creativity can be shared and the participants learn from each other how to reconnect to themselves through the creative process.

In the fall of 2011, Close  created a journal called Sage-ing With Creative Spirit, Grace and Gratitude.

In 2015, Woodlake Books will be releasing the book Creative Aging, featuring articles from the first 12 issues.

This online collection of people’s stories and insights relates how they uniquely evolved through their own journey into aging with spirit and grace and can be read at www.sageing.ca.

The journal is a visual extravaganza for the senses!

I myself have become absorbed in rediscovering where I too have allowed myself to disconnect from my most authentic self and am committed to the journey of aging consciously, which is simply to become more aware of your emotions and passions, your sense of purpose and calling.

Come and explore this topic with me at my next workshop, Soles of Wisdom coming up this Saturday, Oct.25, and share in the journey with me.

 

Marjorie Horne is the owner of Caresmart Seniors Consulting

www.caresmart.ca

250-863-9577

marjorie@caresmart.ca

Just Posted

Kelowna takes to high altitude skating

Kelowna’s Landmark 6 building is the scene of synthetic skating this weekend

Petition filed to supreme court on Peachtree Village

A petition was filed Wednesday by the Friends of Beach Avenue Association

Kelowna pot dispensary launches petition

One of the medical marijuana dispensaries being sued by the City of Kelowna is fighting back

Ethel Street to reopen in Kelowna as upgrade work wraps up

Design work has already started for the next phase of Ethel Street’s active transportation corridor

Accident near Kelowna shopping centre

Fender bender on Springfield Avenue across from Orchard Park Mall

What’s happening

Find out what is going on this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Rockets stop two-game slide with win over Giants

Dillon Dube scores the game winner on a third-period power play Friday in Langley

Kelowna Rockets slip past Vancouver Giants: ‘When you don’t execute, there’s got to be changes’

Giants coach frustrated after his team’s 3-2 loss at Langley Events Centre

Second lawsuit this week filed against jail

Inmate claims he was stabbed by another inmate while in protective custody

Kelowna company offering calibration service cameras

Speedy Glass has been selected as one of 50 service centres

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Big White has wet opening day

The resort only opened four out of 19 lifts

Most Read