Emmanuel Hospice launches art legacy program

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Courtesy Emmanuel Hospice

A nonprofit hospice care provider is expanding its services through a new creative program.

Emmanuel Hospice recently launched Art Legacy, a program that gives patients an opportunity to create and leave behind legacy artwork for their loved ones.

The new program is designed to engage patients by encouraging self-expression while assisting in symptom management. Additionally, Art Legacy helps support memories and provides a connection between the patient, their loved ones and care team.

“It’s important to us to provide our patients with a variety of options that engage the senses and create unique, joyful memories,” said Joan Blessings, a licensed massage therapist and complementary therapy team lead for Emmanuel Hospice. “Art Legacy is one more way we are able to enhance the patient experience. It differs from our other complementary offerings in that most of those services are something that the patient or loved ones are receiving rather than creating.”

To participate in the program, patients are referred by their hospice care team after showing a creative interest. Art Legacy facilitators then will work to learn more from the patient and their loved ones about their interests and gather materials into a kit for a personalized experience.

Kits include items such as paint, markers, colored pencils, air dry clay, yarn and felt. Facilitators will provide companionship and a safe space for patients to create during each session.

The program also offers an opportunity for patients to create a hand mold as a meaningful legacy piece for their loved ones.

Like all of Emmanuel Hospice’s services, the Art Legacy program is available for patients receiving care in home or at the facility. No matter their physical or mental health, facilitators will work to customize activities to each patient’s abilities.

Volunteers and donations are providing support for the program.

“We are blessed by amazing sponsors and donors to be able to expand the boundaries of care with life-enhancing experiences that support the whole person — spiritually, emotionally and physically,” Blessings said. “Programs like Art Legacy are invaluable for our patients and their loved ones, and it would not be possible to offer these services without the generosity of our community.”

Those who are interested in volunteering with Art Legacy can learn more here. No art experience is necessary.

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