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At a Glance

Expressive Arts in Long Term Care

The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community (CAC) has received a $600,000 contract from the Indiana State Department of Health to design, implement, and coordinate a project that will improve the quality of life of older adults living in long term care facilities through the use of the arts.

“Results revealed positive intervention effects in relation to physical health, number of doctor visits, medication usage, depression, morale, and activity level. These results reflect a positive impact of participatory art programs for older adults in this study relevant to health promotion, disease prevention, and a reduction of risk factors driving the need for long-term care.”  

Cohen, G. D., Perlstein, S., Chapline, J., Kelly, J., Firth, K. M., & Simmens, S. (2007). The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on the Physical Health, Mental Health, and Social Functioning of Older Adults—2-Year Results. Journal of Aging, Humanities, and the Arts, 1(1-2), 5-22

The Expressive Arts in Long Term Care project will educate long term care professionals in best practices for using visual art, dance, drama, music, writing/memoir in individual and group settings for residents living in long term care facilities.

“I've been working in nursing facilities for 25 years. This course has inspired me and given me hope.”
Gail, participant at the Expressive Arts workshop in Fort Wayne, IN

What:  CAC will host a total of six training workshops around the state, each four days in length.

Who:  The Expressive Arts workshops are appropriate for nursing facility administrators, social workers and activity directors. 

Faculty for the Expressive Arts in Long Term Care project include:

  • Visual Art: Sarah Tirey, BFA, Associate Adjunct Faculty of Art & Design, University of Indianapolis
  • Dance: Heidi Fledderjohn, MA, BC-DMT, RYT, Dance/Movement Therapist, Facilitator and Teacher, Know Wonder, St. Vincent Health, Still Waters Adult Day Center
  • Drama: Sally Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT, Professor of Theater and Gerontology and Director of the Drama Therapy, Kansas State University
  • Music: Rebecca Sorley, DA, Professor of Music, Director of Student Support, and Coordinator of the Music Business Concentration, University of Indianapolis
  • Writing and Memoir: Katharine Houpt, MAAT, ATR, LCPC, Director of an expressive arts therapy program at a nursing facility in Illinois

When & Where: Workshops are scheduled throughout 2017 in Merillville, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Columbus, and Indianapolis. Dates can be viewed at the registration link below.

Cost: $100 for the 4-day series. 

CEUs: Continuing education units are available for LTC administrators, social workers, and activity directors.  

Each workshop is limited to 50 participants. Participants will receive a Certificate of Training. Those who complete the initial training will be eligible to attend one of two “train-the-trainer” workshops, two-day sessions developed to ensure sustainability for the teaching of expressive arts beyond the scope of this project. 

Register to attend Expressive Arts in Long Term Care  ►