Opening Minds through Art at The Normandy Care Center

Tammy Danilovic, Activities Director and Lori Lancaster, art facilitator.

Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational art-making program for people with dementia offered at The Normandy Care Center.  It is a failure-free program designed to provide opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Art-making is creating something new that is of value.

Developed in 2007 at Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center in Oxford, Ohio, the program is grounded in person-centered care principles.

OMA sessions are led by trained facilitators.  Each elder is paired with a a trained volunteer who provides guidance during the art-making process but who makes no aesthetic decisions for the artist.

Resident artists like Helen Hanslick, right, took special pride in their creations.

The art-making sessions culminate in a gallery exhibition celebrating the artists’ accomplishments while educating the public about the creative capacities of people with dementia. The exhibit and open house was hosted at The Normandy last week.

“The smiles of peoples faces as we showed them their framed artwork was just priceless and so worth the time and energy spent training the volunteers to work with my residents on a one-to-one basis,” said facilitator Lori Lancaster, ADC,CDP. “I am very proud of facilitating this program for the Normandy Care Center.”

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