Creativity's effects on caregivers and recipients
The caregiver program titled Retaining Identity, developed by Associate Professor Anne Mondro and UM Hospital Artist-In-Residence Elaine Reed, responds to the need to combat compassion fatigue. Through the use of creative expression, this social program is designed to alleviate stress and retain one’s sense of self. Coming from an art perspective, the program integrates art making exercises and guided art discussions to expose the caregiver to new ways to communicate.
The program has undergone five pilot sessions working with UM Geriatric Center and Michigan Alzhemeir's Disease Center. In these initial sessions, the caregiver response has been positive resulting in the move to a committed program. As we move into this new phrase, we understand the need to capture concrete research on the health benefits of creativity. In establishing a cube, we hope to develop a focused study on the positive health outcomes this program has on the caregiver.