Older adult care facilities face many challenges when trying to get residents out into the public. They must coordinate wheelchairs, walkers, and any medical attention that may be needed. In addition, even now many museum facilities are not as handicap accessible as they should be, making it harder for these groups in the community.
Bring the museum to older adult care facilities.
I completed my practicum at the Krannert Art Museum on the University of Illinois campus. I developed a program called Art Reflections for volunteer educators to perform at older adult care facilities in the community.
After researching similar programs from around the country and interviewing organizers at other museums, I created a program that best suits the needs of the Krannert Art Museum and the community.
I designed 4 programs, with the framework in place for several more. I then performed these programs myself at 5 facilities in the community: 2 assisted living facilities, 2 nursing homes, and 1 Alzheimer's center.
Programs consist of both posters and physical objects and are based on Visual Thinking Strategies. Rather than a presentation, these programs are a discussion of art with the residents with the goal of having them engage with the art.
Based on interviews with staff and residents, the results of the project were extremely successful.
Photos courtesy of Tim Borbely