The Elderwise Day Program meets the need for social interaction by providing compassionate, respectful, and spirit-centered care; meaningful activity; and supported community. We offer a schedule of activities designed to provide a calming, yet engaging flow to the day. Participants have the opportunity to express themselves through watercolor art, clay sculpture, and facilitated discussion. They also take part in gentle exercise and share a vegetarian lunch.
Our Outreach Program takes the Elderwise approach and activities to independent and assisted-living centers, continuing-care facilities, nursing homes, and non-residential senior settings. Our much loved watercolor-painting classes and discussion groups are tailored to the needs and schedules of the facility and participants. Our methods encourage physical relaxation and mental ease.
Elderwise worked with the Frye Art Museum and the Alzheimer’s Association of Western and Central Washington to develop the here:now program at the Frye, which offers gallery and studio experience to persons with dementia and their care-partners. Elderwise staff facilitate the studio aspect of this program.
The Elderwise Day Center is recognized as a model senior care program by the Washington Health Foundation. Elder-care professionals visit us to learn the Elderwise philosophy and practices and now have a strong foundation in spirit-centered care and apply those principles as they teach, work in senior programming, or advocate for change in health care policy.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2010, Elderwise entered into a collaboration with our neighbor - the Frye Art Museum - and the Alzheimer’s Association to launched an outreach program intended to provide a museum gallery experience and an art making experience for persons with dementia and their caregivers.The program is inspired by one created at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Persons with dementia, like all persons, have the desire for beauty and creativity in their lives; and our program with the Frye Museum provides an opportunity to experience museum masterpieces in a slow paced and engaging way and participants also have the opportunity to create watercolor paintings with the Elderwise experienced painting facilitators. Watercolor painting allows participants to enjoy the creative and expressive process of painting both individually and sharing the experience with the group. We are extremely proud of these programs created and presented to the Seattle community with the Frye Art Museum and the Alzheimer’s Association and they continue to grow and evolve.
Most of our needs stem from our goal to bring the Elderwise philosophy to as many individuals as possible. Our main 2013- 2014 projects would allow Elderwise to grow within the Greater Seattle community by reaching out to more professionals and family caregivers. We are in the process of developing and producing publishable materials for our Education Program displaying our unique philosophy that is changing the way we work with people with dementia. Those attending an Elderwise workshop or class will be able to use these materials to learn, to take with them to refer to and to pass on to others. Our new website is also under construction and we hope to provide information and links to be easily accessed by those searching for answers and care for their family member or charge.