Painting Class Brings Physical, Emotional Benefit to Seniors

Since Harrogate retirement community in Lakewood, NJ began arts classes last year, enrollment has more than quadrupled.  Teaching artist Rose Reilly Leonard provides classes to residents who are mostly between the ages of 70 and 90, some of which have Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disabilities.  Leonard stresses the importance of working to her student’s skill levels while also challenging them.  Florence Baston who is in her early 80s and has resided at Harrogate for 13 years said, “I had no previous painting experience, but I started taking this class earlier this year because I thought it might be something fun to do.  And the truth is it is, fun, and I really enjoy it.  When you’re here, you forget all your problems and get totally wrapped up in your painting.”