Posted by Hilary Tolan
Seniors living at The Village at Brookline recently had a chance to mingle, nosh, and show off their artwork to fellow residents at an art reception and party on August 1. A group of 15 seniors met onsite for six sessions on watercolor and mixed media art. Along with basic watercolor skills, they learned oil pastel and watercolor pencil techniques. Over the course of several weeks, the seniors' skills and confidence increased significantly as they experimented with the media and built on their newly- acquired knowledge. Not only did the participants enjoy sharing their artwork with their peers and families, but they also benefitted from an increased sense of pride and accomplishment in their artwork.
Residents' artwork was mounted and displayed in the Community Room at 99 Kent Street, alongside beautiful zinnias and sunflowers provided by the new resident-led GreenThumbs Greenhouse program.
Said one resident about the art program, "Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined [that] I'd be learning how to paint, which was really a fun experience."
The Aging Well at Home program of JF&CS addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of seniors through services it brings to areas with high concentrations of seniors. A partnership with Winn Management has allowed Aging Well at Home to serve older residents at The Village at Brookline (TVAB), the majority of whom live at 99 Kent Street. Wellness programs at TVAB include physical and healthy activities such as Tai Chi, Stretch and Tone, Easy Steps for Your Everyday Health, Kristen's Kitchen, art classes, educational talks, and social events. Aging Well at Home uses a holistic approach, tapping into the JF&CS continuum of services for seniors including the VNA, Friendly Visitors, Geriatric Mental Health,Your Elder Experts geriatric care managers, and CJP SeniorDirect, our expert elder care information and referral hotline.
Hilary Tolan is the program coordinator for Aging Well at Home. She has been with JF&CS for nearly three years providing referrals, support, and coordinating programs for seniors in independent housing. Hilary attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design and completed her undergraduate studies at SUNY Purchase College. Previously, she taught art in Massachusetts public schools for 10 years. Her other "hat" is as a visual artist and educator and she enjoys sharing her love of art with the seniors at 99 Kent Street in Brookline.