Colors of CareThe ArtThread Foundation is launching their Colors of Care program at Superior Residences in Ft. Myers, Florida. Colors of Care is ArtThread’s innovative, experiential arts program that combines online technology, hands-on art-making, dedicated creativity mentors, and comprehensive training into a unified approach that improves quality of life for residents in assisted living and memory care facilities, and their families.

This pilot program at Superior Residences Health Park Fort Myers will include art-making sessions with residents of this memory care facility and training for their staff, along with direct workshops for family members. ArtThread faculty will  work with the families, showing them how  to use the  universal language of art to maintain a meaningful connection with their resident family members. ArtThread’s online technology allows this to happen no matter where the family is, providing effective support for both the family members and their loved one.

Making art!

“We are thrilled to be working with the team at ArtThread,” said Jenny Bellows, Executive Director of the Superior Residences facility in Ft. Myers. “We are seeing increased engagement and self-awareness in the residents who participate in the art-making sessions. The Colors of Care program offers Superior Residences and a new model that uses creativity and self-expression to raise the bar for quality in memory care.”

Michael DeWeese, Director of Life Enrichment in Ft. Myers, works hand-over-hand with the residents to help them get started on using the ArtThread art-making tools.  In the pictures at right and below he is working with a resident who already has a piece of her ArtThread art framed and sitting on the desk.

The staff at Superior Residences will team up with ArtThread to provide outreach to the community as a way of both sharing creative experiences and providing respite to community caregivers.  These “Caring for the Caregivers” sessions will introduce the program to the Ft. Myers community, and give families a chance to see the Colors of Care program in action.

In addition to ArtThread’s faculty, members of its StreetTeam will have an opportunity to participate in the workshop sessions at Superior Residences. StreetTeam is an ArtThread program that takes young people who are trained in using ArtThread software and places them in art-making workshops where they can share their skills and earn an income as ArtThread art mentors.

Some of these StreetTeam students will come from ArtThread’s partnership with Project 10: Transition Education Network, a program that serves transitioning students with disabilities in Florida public schools. Placing these students with elders creates a unique opportunity for cross-generational skill sharing and communication.

Fun with Splash!

“ArtThread’s integrated approach is perfect for what we do here,” said Bellows. “We like to nurture moments of creativity because those moments, those small victories add smiles to our residents’ lives. ArtThread’s program allows those moments to expand throughout our facility and beyond into families homes and the entire community.”

Art (and art-making sessions) by residents will be streamed online via the ArtThread Interactive Online Gallery, and Superior Residences is installing video screens and computers throughout their facility to allow everyone to participate and view the art, which will also be used as way-finding markers to help residents get around more easily.

This new partnership expands the growing list of organizations that make use of ArtThread’s technology and programs – all with a common goal of improving quality of life for people impacted by illness, physical limitations, or social consequence.

 

About Superior Residences: Superior Residences at Health Park in Ft. Myers is a special memory care community for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementia related illnesses. They work to preserve capabilities while protecting the dignity of each resident. Caring for the special needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease and other dementia related illnesses requires an extraordinary balance of professionalism and sensitivity. Superior Residences management philosophy promotes innovation and encourages creativity so everyone can “Live the moment…Love the moment.”