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Cindy Ficorelli

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Center for Gerontology receives grant for Healing Arts program

(GENESEE COUNTY, MI) The Genesys Center for Gerontology in Flint recently was awarded a grant to continue its Healing Arts therapy program for clients.
The Merkley-Elderly Charitable Trust administered by Citizens Bank Wealth Management in Flint approved a $5,000 grant to assist the center with its service.

Center for Gerontology provides art therapy for clients in the adult day care program.

According to Linda Gibson, director of the Center for Gerontology, "many of our clients suffer from dementia, Alzheimer's disease, debilitating illnesses and cognitive impairments. Our Healing Arts therapy program helps the healing process physically and emotionally. Clients feel a sense of self worth through the arts. We see socially inactive clients make progress.

"Thanks to grant-funding from the Merkley-Elderly Charitable Trust, the center can continue to provide this valuable service to our clients twice a week," Gibson announces.

The Genesys Center for Gerontology provides a daily planned program of adult care for aging individuals who no longer can manage activities of daily living independently. The Healing Arts program, one component of services offered at the center, is comprised of art projects led by art educator Julietta Chevalier who specializes in the healing arts. The program gives older adults an opportunity to tap the healing power of artistic expression through acrylic and watercolor paintings, sculptures, wall hangings, driftwood designs, collages and other art forms.

"We display our clients' artwork throughout our center, and last year, we hosted our first art exhibit for our clients, and their families and friends," Gibson reports.

"Emotional needs of the elderly often are overlooked because their physical needs take center focus, Chevalier finds. "Art therapy helps participants find that connection to their inner self and communicate in a nonverbal manner. It stimulates social interaction, helps maintain and restore abilities and skills, improves physical function and prevents further deterioration of fine motor skills."

"We see clients who are more relaxed, more confident, happier, less stressed and less anxious," Gibson reports.

Genesys Center for Gerontology has provided art therapy for participants of the adult day care program for more than 10 years "and we are very grateful that the Merkley-Elderly Charitable Trust was able to help us continue this healing program that our clients and their caregivers find so beneficial," Gibson adds.

Genesys Center for Gerontology, located in the Genesys West Flint Campus (corner of Beecher and Ballenger Roads in Flint) offers adult day care services for aging individuals who are functionally or cognitively impaired and no longer can manage activities of daily living independently. Goal is to improve their skills, enrich their lives and provide respite for caregivers. The center is open Monday through Friday and transportation is available if needed.

To learn more about the Genesys Center for Gerontology, its adult day care service and its healing art therapy program, call 810-762-4550. (The program partially is funded by Genesee County Senior Millage dollars.)


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