Wartburg’s Model “Creative Aging” Program Featured at LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Texas

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At the 13th National LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo this week in Dallas, TX, Wartburg’s Ann Frey, Director of Volunteers and Janet Palazzolo, Vice President of Residential Services delivered a presentation about the award-winning Wartburg Creative Aging Program to a packed crowd of 80 participants.

The presentation was entitled “Life Enrichment-Activities for Healthy Aging” and focused on how Wartburg, beginning in 2009, developed a creative aging and lifelong learning program that has become a national model for enhancing the quality of life in senior communities.

“Our goal was to educate the participants about how to create their own program and to show the advantages of bartering and niche marketing opportunities to achieve excellence,” said Palazzolo. “Judging from their warm and enthusiastic response, we succeeded,” she said.

Wartburg’s arts program provides 500 seniors in Westchester with hands-on creative activities, such as painting, quilting, singing, poetry, creative writing and computer technology – allowing them to learn new skills and build self-esteem.

The program successfully uses a unique “bartering partnership” that allows community artists to use its facilities after hours for classes, rehearsals and other events in exchange for teaching the Creative Aging programs. “The bartering helps to support local artists and allows them to share their expertise and knowledge with Wartburg seniors without additional financial burden for either party,” said Frey.

Wartburg was the recipient of an AmeriCorps grant enabling it to have a dedicated volunteer, with an arts background and an interest in seniors, to coordinate programming with local colleges and universities.

Wartburg’s Creative Aging initiative was recognized with the 2012 Innovation of the Year Award by LeadingAge of New York, a premier organization dedicated to creating the future of aging and continuing care services in New York State.

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