Rangeley Health and Wellness received a grant from the Maine Arts Commission for its Help Adult Respite Care program. Sonja Johnson, the artist/teacher, is in front. In back from left are Marcia White, Heidi Nute, Joan Brackett, Angie Ponusky, Debby Higgins and Judy Golin. Submitted photo

Rangeley Health and Wellness has received a $2,500 grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, for its Help Adult Respite Care program.

The Creative Aging Grant supports the collaboration between artists and organizations in developing high quality participatory arts programs for older adults.

With these funds the program aims to hire teaching artists to facilitate 12 different art projects using different mediums. Studies have shown that art therapy activities help boost cognitive function in various areas of the brain and enhance communication, brain function and social interaction in people with dementia, according to a news release from the nonprofit physical therapy clinic.

Even those who have displayed no artistic ability in the past may find an outlet with help from trained facilitators, and those who have been artistic can find comfort in returning to a skill.

“We are so fortunate to have received this funding to implement creative art programming for seniors living with memory loss,” said Jennifer McCormack, executive director of Rangeley Health and Wellness. “Creating art is not the only benefit of art. To see otherwise despondent people come to life, become active, social and verbal, is nothing short of amazing.”

Help Adult Respite Care is a four-hour weekly program for individuals in each stage of memory loss. Whether a person is just starting to experience mild cognitive impairment or late-stage memory loss, the program creates individual care plans meeting people where they are, focusing not on what individuals can’t do, but on what they can do, and enables caregivers to have a day of rest knowing their loved ones are well cared for.

When people are engaged and supported, they sleep better, are less anxious and depressed, the news release notes.

To learn more about how to enroll in or volunteer for this program, contact Heidi Nute at 207-864-9777 or [email protected].


Check out other upcoming area events!