Caring for Our Veterans through Art
Busy... that's the one word that comes to mind when I think about the holiday season. Busy shopping. Busy cleaning. Busy baking. Busy planning. And here at Sticks, busy creating!
Take a walk through the studio on any given day and you will see all of our talented artisans busy working on anything from lazy susans to dining room tables. Sometimes we get the change to work on custom installation pieces. In fact, we are in the process of working with the VA Hospital on a special project right now! We teamed up with the VA Hospital to create pieces to be installed in their dementia area. I personally did not know much about dementia so our contact from the VA Hospital was kind enough to tell us a little bit more about it...
Many individuals with dementia often live in under-stimulating environments, with lack of exposure to social interaction and meaningful activity. This context sets the stage for mood and behavioral issues, as well as the overall low quality of life. On the other hand, positive interactions between these individuals and their environment can foster emotional and behavioral stability, a sense of control and mastery, and improved life satisfaction. At the VA Central Iowa Community Living Center (CLC), we are dedicated to enhancing the environment on our memory care neighborhood in a manner that promotes this positive person-environment fit. One avenue we have taken in our efforts to create such an environment is to introduce visually beautiful and tactilely interesting artwork and furniture in the neighborhood. In collaboration with Sticks, Inc., we have already designed and purchased a beautiful, interactive table with the help of community donors. This table not only serves the purpose of multi-sensory stimulation for our residents, but it has also served to create a central focus and space for residents to gather and socialize with one another, their families, and staff. Visually, this table serves as a warm, colorful, and homelike decorative piece that has helped reduce environmental under-stimulation int he area. We see the potential to further improve the emotional, social, and physical experiences of Veterans on the CLC memory care neighborhood by adding more beautiful, interactive, and interesting art and furniture pieces created by Sticks, Inc. For some Veterans in the CLC, this is the last environment they experience in their lives. By increasing environmental stimulation, multi-sensory engagement, and social interaction, we will improve the quality of life for these individuals. It is our hope that we can continue this project in the future.
If you are interested in donating to the CLC installation project, please contact Rachel Eubank at 515-246-8361 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out some images of the tables that will go along with this custom installation below :)
- Alaina Riley