Creativity in Elder Care
Training Medical Students
in the Use of Creative Expression to Improve Elder Care

“The poem springs from the half-spoken words of such patients as the physician sees
from day to day… This, in the end, comes perhaps to be the occupation of the physician
after a lifetime of careful listening.” -William Carlos Williams


In a series of 1 workshop and 4 webinars during the fall semester, first and second year medical students will be educated and trained in how participatory arts such as poetry, dance, music, storytelling and visual arts can enhance the quality of life of elders and people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

Each session will feature a story that will be studied to help build an understanding of narrative and how it may heighten the practice of medicine.

For the final session, students will go on a field trip to an assisted living or adult day care center for hands-on training in using creative expression. The culminating event will be on the same day. Students will present an activity of their choice (poem recitation, dance moves, musical interlude, etc) that they can use with elders.

Students will use these skills in the spring semester when paired with a teaching artist and/or adult care center.

Service Learning Credit
Students will obtain Service Learning Credit for all hours once they have volunteered a minimum of 2 times at an adult care center before the end of the academic year.

Student will be expected to:

  • Review monthly readings, view/listen to media samples and become familiar with the “best practices” for each type of medium.
  • Practice a poem each month.
  • Actively participate in all class sessions, facilitating discussion and activities during the sessions.
  • Create and showcase a piece of work for a final project that can be used with elders.

Culminating Event
The final project will be showcased at a culminating event with a working title of “Stethoscope: A Storytelling, Spoken Word Party with Dance and Music. Friends, family, faculty and staff will all be invited.