How to Start an Art Program 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 well done!" 


- B.T. Strathroy, Ontario


Starting Your Own Art Program


Written from an artist's point of view, "How to Start an Art Program for the Elderly" is a practical guide on how to take your art teaching ideas into the real world. 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 66 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 photos that detail the wide variety of art projects that can be encouraged, you will be surprised at the creative depth 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 results of offering spontaneous art projects that are more art therapy based. 


This e-book details a myriad of approaches on how to engage the cognitively well elderly, as well as those with dementia in art making activities. Creativity and dementia is often 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.


Cost for the e-book is $25.00 USD. You will receive 6 chapters in an e-mailed PDF in your e-mail over a period of six days as soon as you pay.



10% of all proceeds from the sales of this e-book are donated to The Society for the Arts in Dementia Care.


Shelley Klammer’s Biography

Shelley Klammer is a registered counsellor, expressive artist and a therapeutic art facilitator. Shelley worked in Artworks Studio at George Derby Centre in Burnaby, BC for 9 years. She worked with a team of 8 artists and art therapists to maintain a large working art studio that provides projects in painting, textiles, weaving to seniors with varying levels of dementia and physical challenges.


Shelley has developed and presented 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, developmental disabilities, seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, strokes and physical disabilities, and with children and the general public. 

Painting Patterns




Purchase 65 - 11x17 inch downloadable Painting Patterns (as described in the e-book) for your art program for $25 USD. 


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Traceable Painting Patterns are suitable for elders with and without dementia.