This Week on Sage Aging
I don’t know about you, but when I’m having a tough day, it’s pretty unlikely that I’m going to turn to music to lift my mood. Sometimes I’ll listen to some good old rock and roll. Other times you might find me belting the lyrics to my favorite Broadway musical. How about you? What do you do when you’re having that kind of day? The expressive arts, in general, are a great escape for so many people. So it’s no wonder that they’re emerging as a really effective therapy to allow older adults to experience a more satisfying and engaging life. This week in Episode 42 Sage Aging we explored the use of Expressive Arts Therapy with older adults. As always, the full transcript can be found at the bottom of this page.
Caitlin Pilette is the Expressive Arts Coordinator at an assisted living and memory care facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as a per diem clinician for a family bereavement nonprofit organization in Arlington. She holds a BS in psychology, a BA in dance, a certification in dance medicine, and an MA in clinical mental health counseling with a specialization in dance movement therapy. She first started working in elder care running dance groups with individuals with Parkinson’s disease. And through that and other programs discovered her love for working with older adults. Caitlin has the arts in her blood and is happy to have a career that allows her to benefit others using her passion.
Why Art is Beneficial to Older Adults
Expressive Arts Therapy combines psychology and the creative process to promote emotional growth and healing. It is a multimodal approach to therapy that includes all expressive modalities such as art, music, drama, and dance therapies. Anything used to create engagement and stimulate the brain is a good thing, of course, but Expressive Arts Therapy provides many positive outcomes including:
- Relieves stress and depression
- Improves motor skills
- May alleviate physical pain
- Promotes socialization
- Promotes communication
- Promotes self-awareness/expression
- Increases cognitive skills and intellectual stimulation
Though therapies are generally best led by a professional, incorporating music, movement, and art at home can significantly contribute to a sense of adventure well-being for your loved one. Expressive therapies are not necessarily about the end product, but they’re, instead so much more about the journey and the experience of being creative so get creative and have some fun!
Links And Resources We Mentioned
- American Music Therapy Association
- American Art Therapy Association
- New England American Dance Therapy Association
- Book: Keep it Moving by Twyla Tharp
- Book: The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.
Thanks for listening!
Are you enjoying the Sage Aging podcast and blog? Tell us about it! I’d appreciate it if you would leave a positive review and share the Sage Aging podcast with a friend. If you have topic ideas you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at info@Sageaging.us.
Expressive Arts Therapy
therapy, older adults, expressive, caregivers, dance, people, aging, expressive arts, find, expressive arts therapy, incorporate, creative, engaging, care, therapist, thinking, life, clinicians, movement, practices
Liz Craven, Caitlin Pilette, MA
Liz Craven 00:00
The sage aging podcast is brought to you by Polk elder care guide your guide to all things senior care and resources. Find the 2021 guide in English and Spanish at Polk eldercare.com.
Liz Craven 00:26
Welcome to the sage aging podcast. I’m your host Liz Craven Sage aging will connect you to information and resources that will empower you to master the aging and caregiving journey. Weekly, I’ll bring you education, inspiration, amazing and district guests, and caregiver spotlights to shed some light on topics of aging. There’ll even be some freebies and giveaways too. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax as we chat. Are you ready? Hit subscribe now and let’s get started.
Liz Craven 01:02
Hello, and welcome to Episode 42 of the sage aging podcast. I don’t know about you, but when I’m having a tough day, it’s pretty unlikely that I’m going to turn to music to lift my mood. Sometimes I’ll be listening to some good old rock and roll. Other times you might find me belting the lyrics to my favorite Broadway musical. How about you? What do you do when you’re having that kind of day? You know, the expressive arts in general are a great escape for so many people. So it’s no wonder that they’re emerging as a really effective therapy to allow older adults to experience a more satisfying and engaging life. And today, we’re going to explore the use of expressive art therapy and we’re going to share some ideas with you so you can incorporate it for use at home. I have a really special guest with me today. Caitlin Pilette is the expressive arts coordinator at an assisted living and memory care facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as a per diem clinician for a family bereavement nonprofit organization in Arlington. She holds a BS in psychology, a BA in dance, a certification in dance medicine, and an MA in clinical mental health counseling with a specialization in dance movement therapy. she first started working in elder care running dance groups with individuals with Parkinson’s disease. And through that, and other programs discovered her love for working with older adults. To learn more about Caitlin check the blog post for Episode 42 at sageaging.com or you can just check the show notes and your favorite podcast app. And you’ll find the information there as well. One thing I didn’t mention is that Caitlyn and I go back a little ways. And when I think about how many years I’ve known her, it makes me feel really old. Because Caitlyn and I first became acquainted when she went to high school with my daughter at the local performing arts school. So I’m really excited to have her here today and to be able to catch up with her and share this lovely talent with you. So welcome to the show. Caitlin, thanks so much for joining me.
Caitlin Pilette 03:18
Yeah, thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so happy to be here and to talk about expressive therapies and what they can bring to older adults lives and to their quality of life and even their cognitive abilities.
Liz Craven 03:32
It’s great to see that you took what you engaged in, in high school, that wonderful education you got at Harrison School for the Arts. I love seeing that you took that a step further and incorporated that into your career. Is this something that you ever envisioned yourself doing early on? Or did you just kind of fall into this?
Caitlin Pilette 03:55
So you know, I have, I have this memory of being a sophomore in high school and with a dance teacher in our musical theater department at Harrison kind of mentioned dance therapy and dance movement therapy. And I put it on the back burner. I was like yeah, okay, well, I mean, I, I was thinking more toward physical therapy and maybe doing physical therapy for dancers and incorporating it that way. And when I applied to go to the University of Florida for my undergrad, I had absolutely every intention of just going for health science and maybe dancing on the side or maybe doing shows and musical theater on the side. And when I was at orientation, we had this option to go to a secondary, maybe you want to try it out major. One of their orientations and naturally I went to the one for the school of theater and dance and I just decided I couldn’t not do something with the arts. I switched majors right then and there at orientation before my freshman year started of undergraduate. And then as I’m in the dance department, I’m learning more and more about the dance and medicine program and the certificate that they they have for undergraduates. And as I’m learning more about this, and I’m learning more about what dance therapy is, and the difference between what dance in a clinical setting would look like versus what dance therapy is, I just learned more and more and couldn’t stop reading and couldn’t stop looking into programs. And so I found my way to Leslie. So I, I would say that, I didn’t know but at the same time, I think I’ve known probably my whole life that I would end up always being involved in the arts. And I’ve always had a knack for helping other people and wanting to be there for others and being a support system. And so it kind of meshes, everything together that I’ve really known about myself my whole life.
Liz Craven 06:06
Honestly, Caitlin, I can’t think of a better fit for you. Because you’ve always had that big kind heart, you’ve always been the one who was front and center with a hug or a kind word or a sweet smile for anybody who needed it, you were always that person. And so that you have branched into this career is just so perfect, it makes me so happy to see you doing that.
Caitlin Pilette 06:33
I really love it, it really is a great fit. But thank you, thank you, I’m excited to I’m excited to be making my way into this career bit by bit. So
Liz Craven 06:44
Fantastic. Well, I love setting the stage for a conversation with a good quote. And today is no different. So today, I have a quote from Eileen Miller. And she says, art can permeate the very deepest part of us where no words exist. That just is so perfect for what we’re talking about. Because sometimes we’re talking about folks who are having issues with dementia, or who are having a hard time expressing or even understanding why they feel the way they do. Whether they’re feeling down or just bored, or you know, sometimes as we age, it can be hard to pinpoint what the issues are. And so I think that quote really sets the stage for what we’re talking about today. And where I’d like to begin is with a definition, anyone who listens know that I love definitions. So let’s start with that. What is expressive arts therapy?
Caitlin Pilette 07:47
Sure. So I mean, a textbook definition might look something like the expressive arts tend to be defined as use of creative practices and art forms that are used as a form of or incorporate into therapy. My definition, it’s, it’s definitely based off of that. But I really believe in incorporating it into more traditional forms of therapy, just as often as I make it, the main focus of a group or session or a treatment plan for any individual. I try to be innovative in the ways that I weave expressive therapy techniques into my work with my clients and with my residents. I think that part of being an expressive therapist is really tuning into one’s ability to think outside of the box. And just as much as it is about incorporating dance and art and music and drama into interactions with clients. And so my specialization is dance movement therapy. And of course, I do dance movement based groups. But I also incorporate meditations into my practice or focusing on how to take care of one’s body. I also use somatic based practices and techniques, so focusing on breathing as self regulation tool, or relaxation and body based coping mechanisms or even just observing body language and body image. And I know that the other modalities and that expressive arts in general. They tap into that as well and other ways of looking at a traditional therapeutic setting and bringing in their specialties just as much as it is about making it their specialty, the focus.
Liz Craven 09:41
So we’ve all heard of art therapy therapy before. The emerging language is expressive arts therapy. Is there a difference between expressive arts therapy and traditional art therapy?
Caitlin Pilette 09:55
So expressive arts therapy is more of an umbrella. term for all of the expressive arts meaning dance and drama, music and art therapies. an expressive therapist does not necessarily have a specialty in any one, but instead has a general understanding of all of the modalities and is able to interchange them throughout their sessions and their groups and when they are working with individuals, and that would be an expressive art therapist. As far as the expressive art therapies, like I said, it’s that umbrella term, and it has specializations within each of them. So art therapy would fall within that, and dance and drama and music. So as a part of my training within the dance movement therapy modality, I had courses about expressive arts, and how to bring in other modalities and specialties was included and encouraged. And because of my exposure to expressive arts therapy training, I often bring in other modalities into my movement groups. And this is really also allowed me to bring other lenses into my somatic and body based techniques and lenses when working with groups and individuals.
Liz Craven 11:13
And how does the expressive arts therapy modality, how is it beneficial to folks that you’re working with?
Caitlin Pilette 11:22
I think that one of the reasons that I think any of the expressive arts therapies are beneficial, whether it’s the specializations, or it’s encompassing all of them into one session and mixing and matching, I think they’re beneficial because it provides an outlet, other than just talking about one’s experiences and emotions. I mean, I incorporate talk therapy techniques, as well as many of my colleagues do into my work. But it is also accompanied by movement and Narrative Therapy techniques. For example, when I’m working, there are also studies that show that creative cognition could turn, in turn help with synaptic plasticity. So the work inner workings of the brain that allows thoughts to move allows recall, which would be related to older adults who are experiencing cognitive decline. So thinking creatively doesn’t reverse the decline. But it’s suggested that it keeps the synaptic firings happening better for a longer amount of time. And also, it just kind of feels good to make things and be creative. So absolutely, yeah, expressive therapies are not necessarily about the end product, but they’re, instead so much more about the journey and the experience of being creative. And it really focuses on the skills and on the fun that an individual is having in the process, and what that process was like for them. And it’s not, it’s always nice when there’s that end product, but that’s not the goal, the goal is to experience something creatively and be using the creative process, to process your feelings and your emotions, or just kind of get out of your own head.
Liz Craven 13:15
You know, sometimes I think that we forget how important that is because you know, your your day to day. And as a caregiver, somebody who’s providing hands on care, they are trying to get moment to moment, we’ve got to get breakfast done, we’ve got to get bathing done. We’ve got to get teeth brush, toileting, all of these things that have to happen. And then after that, we’re going to go to work. And then we’ve got the kids and we have all these things weighing upon us. And it’s very easy to say, this is not a priority, or not even realize that nothing is happening there. And you have somebody who’s just trying to stay out of way out of the way, the older adult you’re caring for who doesn’t want to be a burden. And they’re just kind of sitting there and maybe watching the television or watching all that’s going on around them. And we forget that no matter what age we are being creative and tapping into that imagination and that place in ourselves, it doesn’t go away as we age, it’s probably even more important as we age to tap into that place.
Caitlin Pilette 14:24
Yeah, absolutely. I think that there’s something to be said about the power of creative cognition. And when you’re looking at the brain, there’s different types of networks that your brain uses when they’re thinking more pragmatically and more logical, but as well as a different system that is used when you’re thinking creatively and quite often, when you’re when one is experiencing and accessing that creative cognition. It’s both sides are working together. And I mean, if you’re thinking about it in the brain, in older adults or people who are experiencing that cognitive decline or dementia or Alzheimer’s, for example, it’s it’s practicing those synapses firing together and working together and just keeping that plasticity. And your brains active, even if it’s doing something as simple as drawing or moving, for example, moving different parts of your body is engaging multiple parts of your brain. And so exercise is important. And movement for movement sake, might be important too. So even just getting up and taking a walk, it might be good, something good for the caregiver to get out of their own head. But it’s also something good for the older adult that they’re caring for to get out of their head a little bit. But also, that exercise in that movement is truly important to keeping the brain nice and active.
Liz Craven 15:55
Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. And there are not there are lots of things that you can incorporate that don’t take a lot of time. You know, it’s it’s not about spending huge amounts of time. And I think, frankly, anybody of any age, could engage in some activities that would, that would be helpful. So what are some things that people can do at home, as it relates to expressive arts therapy that they can work into their daily schedule?
Caitlin Pilette 16:25
Yeah. So as a movement therapist, I always encourage people to really take moments in their days to focus on their breath. And so taking moments to take a few deep breaths, making your inhale longer each time and your exhales always longer than your inhales is my go to phrase, but that focusing on the breathing out just as much as the deep breath in, I don’t think that we really realize how often we are actually holding our breath, so to speak.
Liz Craven 16:59
Oh, I do all the time.
Caitlin Pilette 17:01
Exactly. And I mean, and caregivers, caregivers, too, they might not realize, like you said, they’re jumping from one thing to the next to the next to the next and they might not be really exhaling out. And so everyone tells you to take that deep breath in, but we don’t really focus on letting things go. And like I said, Actually breathing out. So slowing your breath down, slows your body down, and your mind down. And it serves as that body based somatic based self regulation tool, it slows the nervous system down and honestly, kind of just a great way to pause and take a minute for yourself. So that’s something that I would offer not only to older adults to just kind of slow their mind down, but also to people who are caring for them to take just a moment of self care. And that it’s things as simple as that can be movement, therapy based and expressive therapies based.
Liz Craven 18:00
Thank you for saying that. That’s a common theme in my podcast. And in general, so important to remember that self care is just as much a service to the person that you’re caring for, as your care toward them. We have to take care of ourselves if we want to be an effective caregiver. But it’s really hard sometimes to figure out how to fit that in. And this is a practice with watching your breath and paying attention to that that can happen any time of the day, while you’re doing other things. It can just be a mindfulness and a focus on making sure that you stay centered. So thank you for mentioning that.
Caitlin Pilette 18:42
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there’s all sorts of ways that you can incorporate things from home to like you said earlier, even finding time to listen to music and groove and dance or finding innovative, innovative ways to express yourself. And maybe just, again, let your mind go. And that’s individualistic. It could be doodling it could be incorporating doodles while you’re taking notes at your job. Or, like I said, just a simple way of bringing creative aspects in and letting your even letting your head bop to a song. Something as simple as that could be ways that caregivers can bring it in and as far as the older adults that they’re caring for bringing in music that they really like and even just encouraging those toe taps or just encouraging response to something creative. Even depending upon how far along they might be in whatever they have going on medically or physically. But just encouraging any sort of even a smile, encouraging a response to something creative is also really helpful.
Liz Craven 19:53
Even what has been really fascinating. I’ve recently been engaging a bit in tik tok. And you know, never thought I would go there but but the landscape of tic toc is really changing. And what really inspired me to go there was seeing a video on social media somewhere. And it was a video of that a caregiver had made chronicling the journey of their loved ones dementia. And so I said, Well, I need to see more of this because this is fascinating. And when I got in there, I realized that there is an entire community of people online who are using tik tok to allow their older adult, the person they’re caring for their loved one, to be expressive. And so you have there’s a hashtag seniors of tik tok, they are adorable, they’re dancing, they’re doing all of the challenges. Some of them are just responding to questions that their caregivers asking them. It’s fascinating. And I am so surprised that that’s that that’s the platform that so many are engaging on. Have you seen any of that?
Caitlin Pilette 21:07
I have seen a little bit of that. I, I agree. I think it’s awesome. I think it’s, it’s a really sweet, and it can be really funny too. And I think that’s something that’s also so important to particularly older adults in that population, as well as expressing themselves through things like Tick Tock or social media platforms. There’s also that ability, ability, and that knowledge that they’re sharing their story, and that they’re sharing parts of themselves. And I think that as people get older that storytelling need might grow, and that they want to share about their life and share about just who they are. And I think that social media is a kind of a cool way to do that, and to get their voices out there. And if that they are okay with that, and there, it works for them. It’s a beautiful way for them to tell their stories to many more people than they probably would have without platforms such as Tick Tock or other social media accounts.
Liz Craven 22:13
I agree and how amazing that you know, I think that storytelling for a long time was on the backburner. people forgot how to do it. You know, we were so consumed by the online things that they were that we were looking at that we forgot about telling our stories. And I agree with you 100% that the way they’re expressing themselves and sharing their stories, and the response to those stories is astounding, when you see these videos that are getting just 10s of 1000s of views and comments, and so much outpouring of support, and others then saying, Oh my gosh, I’m going through the same thing right now there becomes this camaraderie that people can share in together. And I’m just I find it fascinating. So exciting to see the story storytelling coming back, and people engaging with one another in such a positive way. When we’re living in a world that can be sometimes very negative.
Caitlin Pilette 23:16
Yeah, absolutely. And I think there is something in peer support as far as for caregivers to really like you said, Oh, I’m I’m going through the same thing. That’s something Why don’t you try this? This is what worked for me, or does anybody have any suggestions? I think that that has also, through the online world has really increased and there’s more. There’s more groups, there’s more chat rooms, there’s social media accounts, there’s more ability to get your questions answered online and to meet with other people, particularly in our our current climate, with COVID. And everything, everything is kind of on those virtual platforms as well. So even though it might not feel the same as being in the room as somebody else, there’s still a bit of flexibility. And honestly, there’s, there’s just more wiggle room to find even more and more in common. And I think that even though the COVID climate might not be ideal, I think that taking stuff like this and what social media and what being online and being virtual, to take that with us as we step forward, and move towards more normalcy eventually I think that the flexibility in that is really powerful, and really helpful. For connection.
Liz Craven 24:37
Agreed. So speaking of online, are there any good online programs that people can plug into from home as it relates to expressive arts therapy?
Caitlin Pilette 24:47
Well, I think that a lot of there are many people who are doing virtual, like I said, as far as dance movement therapists. I know that The American Dance Therapy Association or the adta has a database on ways to find practicing dance therapists on their website, as well as a few COVID responses or just ways to find groups or expressive therapies. And I’m sure that the other umbrellas such as music therapy and art therapy, drama therapy and expressive therapies have similar resources on their websites. And I also know that many clinicians are operating both individual and groups within virtual platforms as well as in person. And I think that one of the benefits about having creative individuals in the role of therapists is that we have been taking this mixed up environment and really showcasing how truly innovative these clinicians are. And I think that every clinician and expressive arts therapists or not have been extremely thoughtful and creative in finding ways to reach clients and create new relationships, even though it’s virtually which can be hard to do. And lead sessions. I just, I really applaud the the mental health field and all the clinicians out there. I mean, and, and everybody that’s doing anything like this, to really still make that point of making that connection. So I think that there are definitely there are definitely programs out there. And you can probably find, I know you can find stuff through the dance movement therapy, the American Dance therapy associations website, and I’m sure that you can find it through the others as well.
Liz Craven 26:38
And I would say also check your local listings for your local theater groups, I know that there have been some things happening virtually where I live, also, local museums, doing tours, virtually international museums, all of them all over the world, doing tours that are guided online, and being able to at least to look at the beauty that somebody else has made. I’ve also seen some interactive things going on online, there’s one guy and I wish I could remember his name off the top of my head, but I will find him and I will link it in the show notes. Because this young man is taking people virtually on travel through expressive arts. He is most of it is seated. And he tells a story and uses music and movements, you know, hula dancing, while you’re in Hawaii, and all these really neat things, just for older adults. And so I will find that in Lincoln, because I find that it was really fascinating. It’s so fun. And he was very engaging. And I’m embarrassed that I can’t remember his name off the top of my head, but I will look it up.
Caitlin Pilette 27:53
I love that. That sounds great.
Liz Craven 27:55
Yes, he started doing that during the height of the COVID shut down as a response to the fact that people were socially isolated, and having a tough time coping with that that has been one of the worst outcomes of COVID. Aside from, obviously, the loss of life, and the trials and tribulations that that brings to family, but the social isolation for older adults has been incredibly staggering.
Caitlin Pilette 28:25
Mm hmm. No, absolutely.
Liz Craven 28:29
So are there any other favorite resources on this topic that you’d like to lead people to any other websites or videos or books or social media accounts that you know of?
Caitlin Pilette 28:40
I mean, I think that most of the organizations, whether it’s the Music Therapy Association, or the Art Therapy Association, for, again, for dance therapy, it’s the adta. They all have their own Instagram accounts. There’s all sorts of things dance for mental health or art for mental health that you can find various accounts on Instagram, for example, and I’m sure that there are our local chapters. I know that for myself in Cambridge, Massachusetts, there’s the New England American Dance Therapy Association, which is an NEDTA and on Instagram, so I’m sure that there are local chapters of all sorts of them expressive therapies. As far as books I just finished Twyla Tharp’s keep it moving. And it was really inspiring. To me. It just it talks about continuing to be creative and imaginative and most importantly, moving as you get older, and the importance of movement and for physical and mental and emotional health. But there’s all sorts of books out there on somatic healing that can be helpful. And really using that somatic lens when you’re looking into your own life and then your own relaxation techniques and other practices that can be helpful. I think that looking into things on mindfulness, and what that means in the broad struck in the broad spectrum, but also what mindfulness looks like for an individual. And I think that mindfulness in how it relates to the somatic experience and being aware of how your body is reacting to daily events is super important, important for your health. And for people to understand. I’ve been reading another book called The body keeps the score, and it’s by Bessel, Vander kolk. And although its primary focus is on how trauma is stored in the body, and the brain in the mind, as physical tension or pent up responses, it could also brought in to learning about where your body holds stress, or where your brain has taught your body to disconnect from itself when you’re under stress. And I think that there’s a lot there, and that there’s a lot of literature out there that supports the theory that our bodies really hold on to things even when they aren’t at the forefront of your mind. And like I said earlier, how often do you truly exhale? So, so sure, we can take that deep breath in, but how quickly are are we breathing out? Or are we breathing out fully? Are we breathing out at all? And so I think that looking into things about mindfulness, but also really figuring out what that means for the individual can be helpful as well.
Liz Craven 31:27
Thank you for that. That’s terrific. I’m going to make sure that all of those links are available in that blog post for episode. What are we on? 42? I believe I think I said 41. before, but this is Episode 42. So you will find all of the links for anything that Caitlin has mentioned throughout this entire interview, linked in that blog post as well as in your show notes at your favorite podcast app. Well, before we finish off here, is there one piece of sage advice you’d like to leave our listeners with?
Caitlin Pilette 32:03
I think I mean, I’ve kind of touched on it. And I know that you’ve touched on it. And it sounds like it’s something that’s been such a main, a main theme, but really taking care of yourself, even in the smallest moments is something that I really drive home. When anybody asks for advice. I mean, I’m not, I’m I’m not the best at self care. I don’t particularly finished my coffee while it’s hot. And it might, I might make it at 10am. And I’m still sipping on it at 2pm, nice ice cold. But I, I really encourage that taking yourself, taking care of yourself in those small moments. Even if that means closing the door to a room for just a moment or finishing your coffee while it’s hot. Taking care of your mind is linked to taking care of your body, and vice versa. And not to ever feel guilty about not finding those moments of self care and every minute of every day or taking time for yourself. So letting go of guilt around that. But instead just continuing to try to even find the moments to breathe out.
Liz Craven 33:17
Very well said and definitely a theme that runs through the sage aging podcast. Sometimes I feel like caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed might want to throw tomatoes at me for saying it all the time. But it really is not intended to be a cliche statement. I know it’s something you hear over and over again. But there’s a reason for that. It’s really, really important. So just as Caitlin said, find a moment I don’t even care if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom for a few moments to get a little bit of peace. It’s worth it. And you’re worth it. Well, Caitlin, thank you so much for joining me today. This has been an absolute pleasure to catch up with you and I am so proud of you. I feel like you know, a proud Mama, who has you know, now this is this is a long time ago. I was thinking the other day, how many years have I known Caitlyn? And I think we’re already like 11 years now, isn’t it?
Caitlin Pilette 34:17
Yeah. It has been? Yeah, yeah. 11 I mean, since since we started, it’s been like, approaching 12 Yeah. 12 years.
Liz Craven 34:29
Whoo. Yes, my oldest daughter is going to be 29 is just a couple weeks and I keep thinking her child who is 29 years old. So, but honestly and seriously, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been a real joy to have you.
Caitlin Pilette 34:51
Yeah. And it’s been my pleasure. I’ve really enjoyed being here and getting to talk to you about it and getting to share my passion for excellence. arts and dance movement therapy and what it can bring to the older adult community as well as to the caregivers.
Liz Craven 35:08
Very, very good. And thank all of you for listening. I hope today’s conversation was good for you. And I hope that it again encourage you to take just a few moments for yourself, and to find some creative ways to engage with your loved one. That is just such an important part of being find some fun, find some creativity, find a way to connect and bond with the one you’re caring for. I know that you won’t regret it, it’ll be so worth it. And you know, I’d love to connect with you on social media. So be sure to find us on Facebook, Instagram, tick tock and I have to laugh every time I say that. Yes, tick tock find us. We want to engage with you and we want to enjoy seeing what you’re doing and letting you see what we’re doing. Also, if you have any suggestions for us, drop us a line at info@Sageaging.us. We’d love to hear your ideas about episodes that you’d like to have us pursue any guests that you’d like for us to invite to the show. We’d love to hear about it. Thanks for listening, everyone. We’ll talk real soon.
As I’ve been preparing to launch this podcast I’ve enjoyed revisiting stages of my own life and reflecting on how this topic became such a passion for me. While I’ve built my career on helping older adults and their families connect to needed education and resources, my connection to the aging and care process goes much deeper.
Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my own multi-generational family living together in one home. I was 4 or 5 when my grandmother moved into our home to help care for my sisters and I while our parents worked. Soon after, her father and grandfather moved in as well. We had 5 generations living under one roof! That was a beautifully chaotic adventure and knowing what I know now, I have so much respect for what my parents and grandmother did.
Fast forward to age 24. Newly married and pregnant with our first child, I spent several months with my in-laws to help care for my husband’s grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. Fast forward again to about 2009 – Wes and I have two teenagers about to head to college and his mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years later, my mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years after that Wes’ stepdad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and his father is suffering from severe dementia. You can see where this is going right? For the better part of the last 10 years we have been the caregivers. We see it as an honor and privilege to have been able to do that for our parents.
The key to navigating our later years is being proactive about gathering information before we get there and staying engaged once we do. To be sage is to be wise. There is wisdom in taking the time to ask questions, seek solutions and know your options before the need arises.
Each week we will discuss relevant topics of aging with experts who can help us to understand and be better prepared for aging. We’ll also introduce you to some Sage Agers who are totally owning their journeys through life. No topic will be off limits and we will deliver open and honest conversation meant to educate and empower our listeners. Each episode will also be available in video and blog formats.
Whether you are proactively seeking to broaden your own knowledge, a caregiver for a loved one or a professional working in the aging care industry, this podcast is for you. We hope you will join us as we explore and celebrate Sage Aging.