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TTU Art Therapy Grant For Nursing Homes

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
TTU Art Therapy Grant For Nursing Homes

Tennessee Tech School of Nursing has started a grant initiative to fund art therapy for 100 nursing homes across the state.

Nursing Professor Shelia Harris said the goal is to enhance the quality of life of the residents while conducting research on Alzheimer’s Disease.

“This helps the individuals remain present and remain in touch with their personal identities and surroundings,” Harris said. “And that is key to offsetting the impacts of delirium during this time of isolation.”

Harris said individuals will receive their own art materials while staff give open ended themes to be freely explored. Harris said the therapy can improve cognitive function, communication and replace the use of some medications.

“We want to look at how art impacts the residents, but also, how it impacts the staff at the nursing home,” Harris said. “So that they can see that is an alternative maybe to giving sedating medications.”

The $600,000 grant program came after a previous grant of using music therapy in nursing homes. Harris said she developed the grant with consultation from a registered art therapist who serves as the Program Director for Thriving4Life.

“I was the primary investigator of writing the grant,” Harris said. “We are working with Thriving4Life. That is a non-profit organization in Tennessee. We are managing the grant. We will be doing data collection throughout the nursing home.”

The $600,000 grant is funded by Civil Monetary Penalty of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee State Agency. The initiative is also supported by Alliant Quality.


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