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Elderly guests visit pottery studio

It was a lively group of senior citizens who visited Centered Earth to try their hand at working with clay. For most it was the first time and one woman quipped as she took her seat at the table, “This will be like making mud pies!”

Guided by Kathy Gorg, owner of the pottery studio, 12 residents of Emmanual Home, a Christian non-profit personal care home in Northumberland, shaped blocks of clay into round pinch pots. Some pots were decorated with faces and some were textured. All were as unique as the people who had created them.

Speaking with a group of women, none who were under 90 years of age, they shared that they enjoyed the experience.

Kimberly Delbo, director of nursing services and innovation at Emmanuel Home, said that the home’s 30 residents range in age from 77 to 107.

She shared that Emmanuel Home has looked at recent literature which cites the benefits of art therapy for the elderly.

“We are utilizing more of the arts with our residents. It promotes social engagement. It has been proven to be very beneficial in terms of psychological, as well as physiological well-being. Literature has shown basically that art promotes healing,” she said.

Speaking about Centered Earth, Delbo said, “We’re just thrilled and delighted that they were so welcome and inviting to have us come here and partner with us to have a little field trip here to the art studio. As you can see, it’s undeniable that they are really enjoying themselves.”

She said the home tries to get the residents outside more to enjoy nature and the creation. Delbo added that they are working on a project called the “Homegrown Community Garden Project.”

“It’s a community garden we’re starting at Emmanuel Home with the entire community with more intergenerational interactions,” she said. She added that it will encourage the residents at the home to be more active physically.

“Gardening and horticulture therapy have many positive effects,” she said.

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