FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WDVM) — For about a month, The Kensington, a senior living center in Falls Church, has been using art therapy kits for its residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Activities Coordinator Joel Nason says using a paintbrush is a helpful tool for residents to fine-tune their motor skills. Without such practice, Nason says those motor skills would fade faster. “I’ll be honest; I’m not an artist myself. That’s not my forte. So these kinds of things are hugely helpful to me in helping [the residents] engage with art in a way that I couldn’t before,” said Nason.
The kits came from a high school student who’s working on her Girl Scout Gold Award; the most prestigious and difficult award for a member to receive. Libby West compiled three unique painting kits with watercolors and coloring pages, with the help of local sponsors, like Home Instead in Falls Church, and her adviser, Nicole, an employee at Dementia Care Connections. Nicole helped Libby find The Kensington and its director of community outreach, Kitty Janney.
“I never got a single negative comment or reaction from it,” said West. “It was super positive and I feel that these kits are working miracles.”
Libby says only about 6 percent of Girl Scouts receive the Gold Award, which requires a minimum of 80 hours of service and a formal proposal.