Picking up a paintbrush is just the beginning for seniors who find their minds challenged and hearts opened at Door County Medical Center’s (DCMC) Art for Health workshops. For seven years, DCMC has providing free art workshops for local seniors at care facilities, places of worship and community centers. The interactive workshops provide hands-on participatory experiences in music, storytelling, visual arts and more. Since the program’s inception, the program has served more than 700 people.
Art for Health participant with her collage
“We believe that the health of body, mind and spirit are interconnected,” says Kevin Grohskopf, chief business development officer at DCMC. “Studies have shown the benefits of mental and creative stimulation in preventing dementia and depression and enhancing mental fitness and the sense of social connection. We feel it’s important for our hospital to provide these experiences to the community.”
Art for Health coordinator Terry Lundahl recruits local artists and performers to provide the workshops, which serve a wide range of seniors. “This therapeutic program has proven beneficial to seniors who are very active as well as those who may be more fragile. In creating a community of participants in our workshops, we find people learn from one another and enjoy the experience of trying something new.”
Shirley Senarighi, coordinator of adult forums at Hope Church, agrees. “Art for health is a wonderful program that engaged our community in creating their own artistic ‘masterpieces’ and sharing them with the group. What a great contribution to our senior community.”
Upcoming Art for Health for Seniors workshops will take place on February 8 and 22, and March 8 and 22. For more information, contact Terry Lundahl at 920.493.5979.
Luke Spude, Door County native and Southern Door alumnus, is happy to be putting his new degree to work at Door County Medical Center. The 2016 Marian University graduate was administrative intern at the hospital last summer, an experience he says taught him many sides of the health care business. “I was able to work on special projects in the finance, marketing and accounting departments,” he says. Through the internship, he had a chance to see the many areas of the community DCMC supports, from outdoor sporting events to school initiatives.
Growing up in Southern Door, Luke experienced DCMC community support through his active role in the arts. A talented singer, he appeared on stage at the Southern Door Auditorium in several events supported by the hospital, including Door County Idol. He also received a scholarship from DCMC designed to support local high school graduates entering the health care field. “It’s amazing to see all the places Door County Medical Center gives back to the community,” he says.
Now Spude has landed a full-time job working in the accounts payable department. He sees fellow Southern Door graduates throughout the day, who hold jobs in everything from nursing to facilities management. “This place really is a center of the community, providing great care for patients and jobs for the community,” he says.
Improving or maintaining good health is a resolution on most of our lists for 2017. “There are many things we can all do to improve our health that do not require spending a lot of money or having extensive testing,” says Paula Hobart, family medicine nurse practitioner at Door County Medical Clinic.
Here are a few tips:
- Drink up. Make staying hydrated part of your daily routine. Even mild dehydration can contribute to fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. Try for eight glasses of water a day.
- Plan Meals. Healthy eating doesn’t just happen. Make fruits and vegetables a part of every meal, and choose whole grains over white bread or sweetened cereals. Cut down on prepackaged and deep-fried food, and minimize sugary drinks and alcohol.
- Get moving. Regular exercise can help improve sleep quality, reduce stress, help with weight loss and keep blood pressure and cholesterol down. Aim for 30 minutes, five times a week for starters.
- Get your Z’s. Allowing adequate time for sleep can improve your sense of well-being. Sleep deprivation can contribute to depression, weight gain, difficulty concentrating at work, and inattentive driving.
- Vaccinate. Receiving an annual seasonal flu vaccine is a simple way to reduce risk of serious viral illness during flu season. In addition to protecting yourself, it helps to protect others in the community who may not be well equipped to fight off a viral illness.
“In addition to these lifestyle choices, it is also important to have regular screening exams with your provider, so any little problems can be detected and treated early,” says Hobart.
By Patti Balestrieri, APNP, Door County Medical Center
Q: I’m a busy working mom, and I can’t afford to get sick! How can I avoid colds and flu this winter?
A: Proper handwashing is the first line of defense against cold and flu season. What’s more, encouraging good hand hygiene for the whole family can decrease illness in the household.
- Sing the ABCs. It takes at least 20 seconds to kill germs. Have children sing the alphabet song while lathering, then rinse.
- Soap and water. Washing with soap and water is more effective than hand sanitizer, and less drying to the skin.
- Germ control. When in public restrooms, use a paper towel to turn off the sink and open the restroom door when exiting.
- Cough smart. Teach children to cough into the crook of their arm, rather than their hands.
DCMC’s Urgent Care Department, located within the Sturgeon Bay facility, is open every day of the year from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.