Arts for the Aging, Inc.

Arts for the Aging, Inc. (AFTA) 

Rockville, Md. 

Designated as a “Trailblazer” by the Maryland Department of Aging, Arts for the Aging (AFTA) provides creative caregiving through multidisciplinary group arts programming that stimulates the minds, bodies, spirits and imagination of older adults. Focusing particularly on seniors with dementia, AFTA programs decrease social isolation, combat loneliness and help counter depression with more than 800 older adults in 26 residential care and community settings in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.

AFTA was awarded $5,000 in 2018 to assist with the “Joy in Generation” program. At each session approximately 20 older participate in a customized program that may include painting, drawing, dancing, music, literature and theater.

Because each program is crafted with the intended audience in mind, including the diverse cultural heritage of the seniors, participants are able to awaken both imagination and memory. After hearing a traditional story about a garden from her native Kazakhstan, Naisha stated, “Yes, it was as if I suddenly had eyes in my mind that could see what you were describing in all the details.” Participants in the “Giving Voice to Memory” workshop, whose memories were also awakened by the story, shared their own stories of the joy of farming, gardening and sharing food.

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