Art in the Moment

In alignment with CJE SeniorLife’s core values, its creative, innovative programming and person-centered approach to care, Art in the Moment will provide a unique social and cultural experience for older adults in Chicago, their caregivers and friends.

Art directly engages the imagination and original thoughts of viewers and thus focuses on capacities and strengths not directly impacted by one’s age or ability to remember certain events. Art has also been shown to help people with dementia access long-term memories and to become fully engaged in the present moment. Our program, Art in the Moment is designed to stimulate the minds of all participants and nurture positive, creative relationships within a supportive and inclusive environment.

By viewing and discussing well-known works of art followed by a related hands-on, art-making activity, aging people (with and without dementia), their caregivers/friends can actively participate together in a mutually fulfilling experience. Art in the Moment will use observing, discussing and making art as an alternative way for people to communicate, reminisce and reflect on their life experiences while enjoying themselves in the present moment with their caregivers/friends.

In order to make the program accessible to all interested older adult groups, regardless of their level of mobility and functioning, this program will be offered to current CJE SeniorLife clients and their caregivers/friends in two formats: via museum visits and in-house programming at CJE sites. Subsequent phases of the program may differ.

Based on research findings from similar programs, Art in the Moment is expected to elevate participant mood, create a sense of satisfaction in both the care recipient and the caregiver/friend and help the care recipient and caregiver/friend have more meaningful personal interactions and dialogue throughout (even beyond) the duration of the program. Leonard Schanfield Research Institute will collaborate with us in administering pre- and post-program surveys to assess the mood change and overall participant satisfaction. Follow-up phone interviews will also be conducted to determine the impact on the ongoing relationship between each care recipient and his or her caregiver/friend, and whether participants acquired new ways of communicating and interacting.

CJE SeniorLife and the Art Institute of Chicago are proud to be in partnership to present this innovative program to Chicago, and hope we are at the beginning stage of a sustainable and permanent outcome.