Art adds to quality of life for seniors
Art therapy is part of a holistic program of enriching activities offered at Willow Towers’ assisted living community in Westchester County, according to its executive director, Nora O’Brien, who also oversees United Hebrew’s Willow Gardens Memory Care facility in New Rochelle. “Whether it is painting, or sculpture, or drawing, art evokes feelings. Creating art is about creating a connection between people and to the world around them,” said O’Brien. “There’s something very special about reaching 80 or 90, let alone 100. It’s even more special to be able to learn something new. The juried art contest, founded in 2004, began as a way of creating opportunities for seniors to share inspirational images from lives well-lived, according to Nancy Leveille, executive director of the Foundation for Quality Care, Inc. “Our residents have shared such rich stories through their artwork. The ‘Art from the Heart’ calendar provides a forum for these talented and interesting individuals to shine.” Residents of more than 380 NYSHFA/NYSCAL member skilled nursing and assisted living facilities around the state were invited to submit artwork. More than 90 pieces were submitted from across New York State. The judges included representatives from the New York State Museum and the Sorelle Gallery in Albany. Participating artists ranged in age from 52 to 103, with Meyers being the eldest artist selected. In addition to painting, Meyers remains actively engaged in the lives of her two children, seven grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren. She also walks every day, gets her hair done weekly, plays poker, and participates in the full complement of social activities offered at Willow Towers. Learn more about daily life at Willow Towers.