Facilitating Art for Older Adults

"I have a degree in Recreation Therapy and also I am an artist. Thank you for your insight and I will utilize many ideas from your book. I liked the personal stories of participants in the studio and how the art program enriched and brought meaningful activity and pleasure. I appreciate your years of experience, ideas and thoughts to challenge me and help me develop my art class."   ~S.G.


"I found the course very enlightening, and I feel it gave me the info I needed to be confident to pursue my dream of  facilitating an art program for the elderly in my area."


~AMH - Somerset, Mass.

"Shelley I still refer to your book that I purchased from you....so well done!" 


- B.T. Strathroy, Ontario


Starting Your Own Art Program


Written from an artist's point of view, "How to Facilitate Art for Older Adults" is a practical guide on how to take your art facilitation ideas into the real world. A guidebook on how to develop art programs for older adults based on the "Artworks Studio" model started by the Red Cross in Canada after World War II.


In this e-book you will learn how to set up an art cart, how to contract out your art facilitation services, and what working within a limited budget might look like.


Beyond therapy and theory, this e-book provides examples of what kinds of art projects have practically worked in care homes and community art programs for the elderly in Canada. This practical 89 page e-book takes you inside of Canada's largest art studio for the elderly and shares the surprising findings about what is artistically possible for older artists.


Generously illustrated with 75+ photos that detail the wide variety of art projects, you will be surprised at the creative depth and physical and emotional stamina that is possible near the end of life. The e-book details the pros and cons of offering art projects that are structured and instructor assisted, as well as the benefits and detriments of offering spontaneous art projects that are more art therapy inspired. 


This e-book offers ideas on how to engage cognitively well elder adults, as well as those with dementia in art-making activities. Creativity and dementia is often such an inspiring mix. When the cognition of self-censorship fades, the creative expressions that result are original, enlivening and delightfully surprising!

"Thanks so much for all of this information! I just wanted to say thank you. I've just started on this journey and have SO much more research and learning to do, but I feel like a new door has opened, and I appreciate you sharing your experiences in this book."


S.S. - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA


This e-book was originally presented as a published booklet for the 2010 Conference for The Society for the Arts in Dementia Care and was revised in 2013 for the DISCOVERY 2013: 28th Annual Alzheimer's Regional Conference in Seattle Washington, and was updated with many more photos in 2019.

Or Purchase Your Facilitator's E-Guide Bundle


Over 100 practical, real-world tested Expressive Art Facilitation Ideas for people of all ages. Includes the guidebooks, "How to Start an Art Program for Older Adults," and "45 Expressive Arts Facilitation Ideas." Purchase the bundle for a 15 dollar savings.


View Bundle on CourseCraft...

Shelley Klammer’s Biography

Shelley Klammer is a registered counsellor and expressive arts educator with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. Shelley worked in Artworks Studio at George Derby Centre in Burnaby, BC for 9 years collaborating with a team of 8 artists and art therapists, maintaining a large working art studio that provided projects in painting, textiles, weaving to seniors with varying levels of dementia and physical challenges.


Shelley has developed and facilitated many therapeutic art programs over the years to various populations. Her intuitive group approach is grounded in the direct experience of engaging many types of people in the art-making process. Shelley has developed art programs for incarcerated youth, adults with acquired brain injuries, people with developmental disabilities, seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as children and the general public. 


Connecting in the Land of Dementia


I am featured in Deborah Shouse's book!


On the dementia journey, each quality moment of connection is priceless. Deborah Shouse and dozens of experts in the field of dementia share ideas that engage the creative spirit so you can continue to experience those meaningful moments of connecting.


These easy and adaptable projects--music, art, movies, cooking, storytelling, gardening, movement, and many more--can foster stronger relationships, renew hope, and ignite a sense of purpose for people who are living with dementia and their care partners.


You don't need special skills to enjoy these expressive activities. Simply incorporate them into your daily routine and you'll enrich your time together.


You can purchase the book HERE.