The stereotyped notion of a residential aged care facility is one of inactivity, a centre of passivity where staff lack vitality and enthusiasm and residents are bored. It was to reverse that stereotype that I devised the MAC.ART program - it stands for McAdam Aged Care Art Recreation Therapy. MAC.ART was developed with several unique and innovative person-centred design concepts, and was introduced into the Australian aged care sector during 2001.
I chose to develop MAC.ART for aged care because I was not aware of any genuinely “all inclusive” art as recreation therapy program in existence either in Australia or elsewhere. I believed then, and I have now confirmed, that it is possible to invigorate and revitalize the human capital of any aged care facility, dementia specific unit or community setting through the implementation of appropriate art projects that include all the people associated with the institution.
The MAC.ART program explores creativity and the aged, and offers insight into the minds of those living with dementia. So far, nearly two thousand individuals from different ethnic, religious and sociological backgrounds have produced twelve major artworks, each of which showcase the hidden creative ability of older individuals, particularly those living with dementia, in residential aged care and the community.
This website is a tangible demonstration that participation in the MAC.ART program creates a sense of pride through creativity and a feeling of achievement, inclusion and ownership of the whole artwork at the program’s conclusion. By addressing the psychosocial needs of all participants through such a creative endeavour, the wellbeing of all the individuals involved is increased and their spirits fortified.
from a source of their being
that artfully defies
our medical investigation
and scientific discourse"
Artistic Expression with Dementia
Kate Scannell, MD. 2003.