The transition to long-term care settings can be difficult for residents and feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety are not uncommon in these environments. However, participating in therapeutic artmaking rituals creates opportunities for residents to process their feelings, experience states of flow and mindfulness, engage with others, and focus on their own psychological growth. In long-term care, the physical needs of residents are often prioritized, but psychosocial needs also require attention. For this project, therapeutic artmaking rituals were created at a long-term care facility in three levels of care over 12 months. Older adults engaged with clay, paint, raw fiber, and wood. Reflections and recommendations for artists interested in creating similar programming are discussed. Suggestions for future research on therapeutic artmaking rituals are also included, such as the consideration of artist in residence programs within long-term care settings and assessing how the ritual of engaging in therapeutic artmaking could improve person-centered care and resident and staff dynamics.


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