Atria Senior Living Releases 2011 Calendar Featuring Resident Artwork

Atria's Engage Life® program promotes creative expression among residents

Dec 07, 2010, 14:51 ET from Atria Senior Living Group

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirteen residents living in Atria Senior Living communities across the nation have been chosen as featured artists in the company's 2011 Engage Life® wall calendar, the company announced today. This is the second year that Atria, one of the nation's largest providers of independent living, assisted living and memory care services with more than 120 communities nationwide, is producing the calendar as part of its Engage Life program.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101207/CL13630)

Artistic creations featured in the calendar were chosen from more than 294 resident art pieces submitted for consideration, and 22,000 copies of the calendar will be distributed nationwide. The calendar highlights artwork in a variety of mediums, including watercolors, oil on canvas, woodworking and sculpting. The featured artists, ranging in age from 77 to 95, have a wide range of experience, from discovering their talent at a young age and pursuing advanced degrees to painting for the first time after moving into an Atria community.

Though the artists' backgrounds are diverse, it is important that each resident living at Atria has the opportunity to find a creative outlet through Atria's Engage Life program, said Khristine Rogers, Vice President of Active Aging with Atria Senior Living.

"Creative expression is just one component of our Engage Life programming that is offered weekly in each Atria community, along with a wide array of other cultural, social and educational opportunities," explains Rogers. "While these beautiful works of art certainly celebrate the talent of our residents, just as important is the recent research that suggests that nurturing a creative outlet can help keep the brain healthy and functioning as we age."

The creation and production of the company's calendar is beneficial in a number of regards. Research from the Mayo Clinic published in the American Academy of Neurology suggests that adults between the ages of 70 and 89 who played games, read books and participated in crafting activities saw a 30–50% decrease in their risk of developing memory loss compared to those in the same age group who did not do those activities. Some experts in the field of aging view the Atria calendar as more than just a resident activity, but as a tool in continuing cognitive development.

"Atria's Engage Life program represents a holistic approach to wellness, and research shows that a multifaceted program that includes creative expression components is the most beneficial to seniors," says Gayle Doll, Ph.D., Director of the Center on Aging at Kansas State University. "As we age, the loss of roles we once valued can be devastating. The stimulation of trying something new and different is not only beneficial to the brain in terms of cognitive development, but also helps us replace old roles with meaningful new activities. The Engage Life calendars are a great example of Atria residents trying new things and exploring old passions while stimulating continued brain development."

Atria's Engage Life program centers around eight dimensions of programming aimed at keeping the mind, body and soul active and healthy. While the Engage Life program is found in all Atria communities, specific activities offered in each community are tailored to the individual residents who reside there. While specific programming options may vary due to culture, geographic location or other factors, many residents show an interest in furthering their artistic expression.  

"You won't find a one-size-fits-all approach to the opportunities we offer," adds Rogers. "From a resident engagement perspective, we understand that interests widely vary, so we strive to offer diverse programs that will appeal to every resident we serve. Art is an area in which many of our residents are interested, so producing this calendar is a wonderful way to showcase the talents and passions of some of our most talented resident artists."

Atria's Engage Life 2011 calendars are making their nationwide appearance in Atria communities today. To learn more about Atria's Engage Life program or the resident artists featured in the calendar, visit www.atriacalendar.com.

Atria Senior Living Group, one of the nation's largest assisted living owner-operators, provides respectful, quality care that helps approximately 13,000 older people live life to the fullest. Atria communities are not nursing homes; rather, they are active communities where seniors can get the care they need to live as independently as possible. At the heart of Atria's approach is our belief that superior care depends on running a superior business. That's why Atria has developed some of the industry's most stringent measurement tools and comprehensive training protocols. To learn more, log onto www.atriaseniorliving.com

SOURCE Atria Senior Living Group



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