NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Leslie Beard

[email protected] / 780-952-2033

June 23rd, 2021

Art draws seniors together during COVID-19 pandemic

(Edmonton, Alberta) People living at the Optima Living, Wild Rose Seniors Residence found a new way of engaging and expressing themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic that continues today as lockdown restrictions ease. Interested residents who want to explore their inner artists attend a weekly art program organized by Artfull Enrichment, a Canadian-based company that offers art programs for seniors’ communities in Canada and the U.S.

“What makes this program so amazing is how much the artwork has become a talking point throughout our entire seniors’ community even those people who aren’t taking part in the weekly program,” said Marie Concepcion, General Manager of the Wild Rose Seniors Residence. “The artwork is displayed throughout the building and right now we have the walls on two floors filled with people’s art and now we’re working on a third floor.”

Marie also points out that the recreation manager, as well as other staff, are key in talking up the program and supporting residents to try it out. Some staff have joined residents and do the artwork with them. 

Wild Rose’s relationship with Artfull Enrichment started two years ago when the independent and assisted living community was looking for new ways to engage and involve seniors in different activities. Cailey Massey, the founder of Artfull Enrichment and a visual artist herself can’t say enough about the benefits and value art can bring to different communities, regardless of age. 

“With art, there are so many benefits -- the social aspect of connecting around a shared interest and passion, and a way of communicating and expressing,” she said. “It goes beyond just a one-hour program, offered once a week, and becomes something people look at and talk about that involves friends and families.”

Marie gives the example of one resident who had been an artist but no longer practiced his art. With his daughter’s support, he’s now attending weekly sessions and overall becoming more actively involved in the activities at Wild Rose. 

What makes the program even more remarkable is that even during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wild Rose Seniors Residence was able to offer a modified version of the weekly art program. 

“During lockdown periods, when seniors remained in their suites to try and prevent the transmission of the virus, we worked closely with our recreation manager to find ways of keeping people interested and mentally active,” said Marie. “Instead of offering in-person weekly art classes, we dropped off a package of art supplies to the room of each interested resident.” 

As more people are vaccinated and seniors living communities start to open further, Marie fully expects the weekly art programs will continue. Right now, about one-third of all residents take part in the program, a number she expects will increase once everyone starts to move around more freely.

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About Optima Living

Since 2007, Optima Living has established a strong reputation as an owner and operator of seniors’ residential communities located in western Canada. These communities range from Independent to Assisted Living, Long term Care to Memory Care Living, and Residential Mental Health. Optima believes its North Star – Let us welcome you home – is what allows the company’s unique culture to flourish in all its seniors’ residential communities. For further information, visit www.optimaliving.ca

About Wild Rose

As one of 10 seniors living communities in Alberta, Wild Rose is a 66-suite residence that offers an independent retirement lifestyle in Edmonton for active seniors, as well as assisted living services for those individuals who need support. It is ideally located in the Terra Losa community near West Edmonton Mall.

For more information:

Optima Living: Leslie Beard 780-952-2033 [email protected]

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