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Senior Home Care in Fairfield and Westchester County. Call us Today 203-221-0221 New York Office 914-303-6878 Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Therapeutic Arts and Wellness Department

We are the only homecare agency in the state with a therapeutic arts and wellness department. Our services include art therapy, Mnemetherapy, mindfulness exercises, gentle yoga, music therapy, and pet therapy. In addition to offering these services to our homecare clients and their families, we provide group, family, and individual sessions to assisted living and memory care facilities throughout Fairfield County. We also offer unique social events, such as a paint night that includes a heart-healthy wines tasting led by a trained sommelier or an artisan tea sampling.

Learn more about each therapeutic facet below.

Therapeutic Arts Program

Sheraton Caregivers is committed to providing personalized care for seniors and individuals with disabilities by offering an array of services, including art therapy and Mnemetherapy. Our therapeutic arts program grants our clients a unique opportunity for personal expression, enjoyment, and cognitive stimulation.

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a mental health and human services profession that utilizes creative expression and applied psychological theory to enhance the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Our art therapy sessions are available for groups, families, and individuals. Each one-on-one and family session is structured based on the clients’ needs. Mediums that may be used include watercolor or acrylic paints, collage, drawing materials, ink, digital art programs, clay, and fiber arts.

What are some of the benefits of art therapy and Mnemetherapy for seniors and individuals with disabilities?

  • Promotes self-expression and self-awareness
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Offers enjoyment
  • Increases cognitive skills and intellectual stimulation
  • Improves physical/motor skills
  • Encourages pain reduction
  • Enhances social skills and communication
  • Relieves stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Helps seniors and families process times of transition
  • Provides opportunities for life review
  • Can offer reminiscence therapy for individuals in need of memory care

About our Art Therapy and Mnemetherapy Provider

Sophie Slater

Sophie Slater, ATR-P, is a graduate of the Masters of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling program at Albertus Magnus College and the first certified Mneme Therapist in Connecticut. She also holds a BFA from the Cooper Union. In addition to her training as a mental health professional and artist, Sophie is a certified yoga teacher and life coach. She is passionate about helping her clients find greater insight and well-being through the incorporation of creative expression and mindful awareness into the therapeutic process.

Audra D’Agostino

Audra D’Agostino is a graduate of the Masters of Arts in Art Therapy program at Albertus Magnus College. In addition, she holds a BFA from the University of Hartford – Hartford Art School, where she concentrated in Visual Communication Design. While at HAS, she also studied painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, and drawing. She is passionate about promoting authenticity in both herself and her clients. Audra believes that all people can use the magic of art therapy to learn grow, and heal. Audra is in the process of completing the MnemeTherapy training.

To schedule an appointment, call 203-221-0221 or email: art@sheraton.care

What is Mnemetherapy?

We are proud to be the first credentialed Mnemetherapy providers in the state of Connecticut. Pronounced “nemma,” Mnemetherapy is a multisensory, art and activity-based therapeutic approach that incorporates everyday pleasures like singing, cross-lateral movements, painting, and storytelling in a unique combination to strengthen and stimulate the brain. While the primary goal of this one-on-one therapy is to provide a rewarding experience for the participant, documented testimonies have shown significant improvement in some clients in verbal skills, mobility, combativeness, spatial acuity, and understanding of instructions.

What originated as an enjoyable, therapeutic activity for individuals diagnosed with dementia is now helping people of all ages, including those affected by:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Autism
  • PDD, ADD, ADHD
  • Stroke, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury
  • Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, among others.

What are some of the benefits of art therapy and Mnemetherapy for seniors and individuals with disabilities?

  • Promotes self-expression and self-awareness
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Offers enjoyment
  • Increases cognitive skills and intellectual stimulation
  • Improves physical/motor skills
  • Encourages pain reduction
  • Enhances social skills and communication
  • Relieves stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Helps seniors and families process times of transition
  • Provides opportunities for life review
  • Can offer reminiscence therapy for individuals in need of memory care

What happens during a Mnemetherapy Session?

Each Mnemetherapy session begins with singing and various cross-lateral movement games that are intended to stimulate the brain, wake up the body, and assess the participant’s ability to see, hear, and communicate.

The client then selects a painting that they would like to uniquely recreate. The Mneme Therapist assists using “show-and-tell” guidance and simple strokes made with a variety of non-traditional brushes. Hand-over-hand assistance is provided as needed.

At the conclusion of each session, the client names his or her painting, engages in a storytelling exercise, and is invited to share the artwork with others.

About our Art Therapy and Mnemetherapy Provider

Sophie Slater

SophieSophie Slater, ATR-P, is a graduate of the Masters of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling program at Albertus Magnus College and the first certified Mneme Therapist in Connecticut. She also holds a BFA from the Cooper Union. In addition to her training as a mental health professional and artist, Sophie is a certified yoga teacher and life coach. She is passionate about helping her clients find greater insight and well-being through the incorporation of creative expression and mindful awareness into the therapeutic process.

Audra D’Agostino

AudraAudra D’Agostino is a graduate of the Masters of Arts in Art Therapy program at Albertus Magnus College. In addition, she holds a BFA from the University of Hartford – Hartford Art School, where she concentrated in Visual Communication Design. While at HAS, she also studied painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, and drawing. She is passionate about promoting authenticity in both herself and her clients. Audra believes that all people can use the magic of art therapy to learn grow, and heal. Audra is in the process of completing the MnemeTherapy training.

To schedule an appointment, call 203-221-0221 or email: SOPHIE@SHERATONCAREGIVERS.COM

“I regard music therapy as a tool of great power in many neurological disorders — Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s — because of its unique capacity to organize or reorganize cerebral function when it has been damaged.”
– Oliver Sacks, M.D.

We offer both individual and group music therapy to our clients and assisted living facilities in the area.

As defined by the American Music Therapy Association, “Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients’ abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research (both quantitative and qualitative) in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as, overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.”

About our Hannah Righter, our Board-Certified Music Therapist:

  • Hannah Righter
    Hanna RighterHannah graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Therapy. She is a Board Certified Music Therapist, who has had clinical training and practice with a vast range of populations while working in special education, geriatric, psychiatric, medical, and research-based settings over the last several years. She finds great joy in experiencing the ability that music has on connecting individuals with the present moment while oftentimes also evoking memories and storytelling that can provide insight towards important aspects of each individuals’ lives. Her passion is using music as a creative outlet with her clients to help promote self-expression, increase stimulation, socialization, and enhance the overall quality of life.

Learn more about music therapy in the media here:

ABC News – How Music Therapy Can Lift Body and Soul for Patients
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/music-therapy-lift-body-soul-patients/story?id=40279975

World News Tonight with David Muir – Person of the Week: Celebrating All Music Therapists
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrVUWgdrBa0

Music Therapy in Dementia Treatment – Recollection Through Sound
http://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/news/story1.shtml

Harvard Health Publications – Healing Through Music
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/healing-through-music-201511058556

Did you know that animal assisted therapy (a.k.a. pet therapy) has been found to help not only reduce anxiety but also pain in individuals with various health conditions? We pet therapy on a voluntary basis to our homecare clients and assisted living facility. This adorable dog named Mila is part of our team.

Sheraton Caregivers has a small and committed team of certified yoga teachers who are passionate about sharing gentle chair yoga and mindfulness exercises with seniors. We offer both group and individual yoga sessions in the Fairfield County area.

Our Yoga & Mindfulness Team

  • Louisa Correll
    LouisaLouisa, E-RYT is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher through YogaSpirit studios with an additional 100+ hours in Children’s yoga training including Yoga for Children with Special Abilities. Yoga has had a profound impact on Louisa’s life which has led her to “pay it forward” and pass it on in some way to others. She teaches all ages – Yogis from babies to seniors, and her philosophy to not take life too seriously creates a playful environment which allows everyone’s inner child to shine.
  • Monica Keady
    MonicaMonica Keady, RYT 500, is certified in the tradition of Swami Kripalu who believed that “the profound meaning of yoga is understood only by those who study it through regular and systematic practice.” As a life-long practitioner of yoga, Monica appreciates the serenity and resilience that comes with practicing yoga and meditation. Her mission is to share yoga so that others may experience the gifts of a regular yoga practice. Monica guides mindful, alignment-based flow classes as well as Gentle, Yin, Restorative and Meditation. In addition to subbing at local yoga studios, Monica currently leads classes at the Darien YMCA, New Canaan YMCA, Norwalk Senior Center.

  • Sophie Slater
    SophieSophie was introduced to yoga as a teenager and immediately drawn to the practice’s ability to encourage greater physical and mental resilience. While at the Cooper Union, her love of yoga, photography, and adventure led her to India. After graduating, she returned to India to complete her 200hr and advanced teacher training courses. Sophie loves teaching students of all ages and levels and has done so for over a decade in Connecticut, New York City, Kazakhstan, Italy, and at the Deenabandhu Trust Children’s Home in Karnataka, India. She has also conducted graduate level quantitative research around the efficacy of chair yoga and art therapy for anxiety reduction in pregnant women. The results indicated that both practices yielded a significant decline in state anxiety. Sophie’s yoga sessions offer a safe processing ground for students to explore and nurture their body, mind, and spirit.

Sheraton’s Reminiscence Therapy Can Sooth Anxiety, Depression, and Emotional Distress

Most people understand Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia as a failure of the brain’s capacity to recall details and memories. What’s often forgotten, however, are all of the additional mental health issues that arise alongside slipping details.

How would you feel if you woke up one day and couldn’t remember what city you lived in? What would you do if someone unfamiliar to you struck up a conversation and told you details about yourself that a stranger shouldn’t know? These prospects are terrifying for someone of sound mind, yet reality for someone living with a neurocognitive disorder.

Anxiety, depression, and overall emotional distress are a daily part of living with dementia. They’re bred by confusion and uncertainty, resulting from situations like the ones mentioned above. And, without addressing these emotional burdens, the quality of life of an individual living in cognitive decline can rapidly sink.

Reminiscence therapy’s potential

Reminiscence therapy for elderly individuals in cognitive decline offers something that many general clinical therapies don’t: a personal connection. Because this therapy is based on stimuli from the individual’s past, there’s a vested opportunity for them to reawaken feelings and details that are familiar to them—rather than having them focus on directly combating an illness. In short, reminiscence therapy strategies promote positive interaction, rather than thrusting someone into unfamiliar situations. The result can be very soothing and comforting.

Memories foster comfort

Exposing individuals with dementia to their own memories is a great cognitive exercise that can have rippling effects on their general mood and quality of life. In a positive scenario, the individual will remember the memory being shared with them and reflect fondly on it, boosting their mood. In other cases, they may subconsciously recognize the memories being shared and experience positive emotions, even without fully understanding them. In many cases, the positivity evoked during RT can offset some anxiety, depression, and overall emotional distress, resulting in an encouraging impact on mood and cognition.

Re-telling a familiar story

Depression is a major concern for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. As individuals become disconnected with the world around them, they crawl further into isolation, which can drive depression. Not only does RT give these individuals access to calming, therapeutic feelings, it does so at a scale that’s non-intimidating and comforting.

Often, storytelling is a core component of reminiscence therapy tools. Showing an aging individual their own wedding photos, for example, may elicit the need for a story to be told. The caregiver may recall stories of the event or details lost on them, immersing them in the memory that they may only have vague recollection of. The resulting feelings by the individual can be overwhelmingly positive.

Gentle reminders

Finally, reminiscence therapy can work to help avoid situations of mental shock or exhaustion in individuals with declining mental capacities. RT—whether self-guided or moderated—prompts gentle reminders of past life events. If the person remembers them, the brain may be able to re-form context slowly to recall detail. If there is no remembrance of the event, it can be disregarded without creating panic or depression. It’s a gentle way to ensure people aren’t put under stress to identify details that may no longer be attainable for them.

To learn more about our Reminiscence therapy brought to you by Sheraton Caregivers, give us a call at 203-221-0221.