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Geriatr Nurs. 2006 Sep-Oct;27(5):309-16.

Art therapy: Using the creative process for healing and hope among African American older adults.

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Living Independently for Elderly (LIFE) Program, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, USA.


This article provides an introduction to the field of art therapy and the potential it can offer to address the emotional needs of the frail elderly. Two case studies are discussed, and examples of artwork are provided. The case studies and artwork were created under the guidance of an art therapist at a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) site in an urban African American community. This article explores how art making addresses the specific developmental tasks of the elderly in a culturally competent manner. Included are practical considerations in the choice of art media and directives for working with elderly clients, as well as resources for further information on the use of art in therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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