December 4, 2017

What is Creative Engagement?

Sarah Freimuth, MSW, Associate Care Manager

Engagement and connection through music, movement, poetry, storytelling, visual art and theater can improve quality of life through increased self-confidence and self-esteem and build a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Too often when someone has been diagnosed with memory loss or other chronic illness, attention is paid to their deficits rather than their talents and achievements. No matter the challenges, each person has strengths and can have sparks of connection.

According to Anne Bastings, McArthur Fellow and the founder of TimeSlips Creative Storytelling (, “Creative engagement is a multi-sensory, sustainable, evidence based approach to positively engage people with dementia.”

Sarah Freimuth, MSW at Stowell Associates is a “Creative Engagement Specialist” who trained with Anne Bastings. Sarah meets one-on-one with clients to develop a personalized program to enhance a talent they once had, develop a new talent and/or encourage new opportunities.

Sarah is working with a former engineer discussing WWII aeronautics: a librarian and teacher discussing her genealogy research; and assisting a client who loves the outdoors to recognize plants and trees.

Our care managers coordinate creative engagement through community programs such as adult day centers, brain health classes, memory cafes and The SPARK program (a museum-based program). They also work with our caregivers to bring engagement activities into our clients’ daily lives.

If you or someone you know could benefit from creative engagement, please call us at 414-963-2600 and ask for Jenni Paddock.

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