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Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit
monochrome painting of farm in snow (CEYA)



activities of daily living
adult daycare center
adult day program
adult learning
advisory committee
Aging and Disability Resource Center
aging in place
aging services field
Americans with Disabilities Act
assisted living
arts and aging field
arts education
arts field
arts learning
asset-based model
baby boomer
Boston Matrix
certified nursing assistant
charge nurse
civic engagement
community arts
community cultural development
community schools of the arts
community sharing of the art
congregate living
continuing-care retirement community
continuum of care
control group
creative arts activity
creative arts therapies
culture change
deficit-based model
director of nursing
effective practice
elder-friendly community
environmental scan
experimental design
external assessment
formative evaluation  
group expectations
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
independent living
instructional design
internal assessment
learning community  
lifelong learning
long-term care facility
medical model
mission statement
naturally occurring retirement community
No Child Left Behind Act
normal aging
nursing facility
nursing home
Older Americans Act
oral history
out-of-school programs
outcome evaluation
outcome goals
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly  
participatory, sequential learning
partnership team
process evaluation
productive aging
program logic model
qualitative evaluation
quantitative evaluation
recreational therapist
residents’ council
retirement community
return on investment
senior apartment
senior center
skilled care facility
social capital
social engagement
strength-based model
summative evaluation
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
teaching artist
train the trainer
universal design  
values statement
vision statement
wellness director

accessibility. The capacity of everyone regardless of age or ability to be included in all physical structures, programs, and means of communication (e.g., Web sites, e-mail, telephone).

activities of daily living (ADLs). The functional ability of a person. The primary ADLs are bathing, eating, grooming, dressing, toileting, and medicating. Others include shopping, housekeeping, and driving.

adult daycare center. Structured programs with stimulating social activities and health-related and rehabilitation services for older adults who are physically or emotionally disabled and need a protective environment. The participant is usually brought to the care facility in the morning and leaves in the evening. Also called adult day program.

adult learning. An educational philosophy based on the understanding that adults are autonomous and self-directed; have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge; are goal-oriented; are relevancy-oriented; are practical; and need to be shown respect.

advisory committee. A group of key stakeholders and experts who provide advice and guidance on program design and implementation.

advocacy. Increasing awareness and appreciation among elected officials and public and private funders.

ageism. Stereotyping and prejudice against individuals or groups because of their age.

Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). A one-stop shop that provides information and assistance to people who need public or private resources, professionals seeking assistance on behalf of their clients, and people planning for their future long-term care needs. Resource center programs are the entry point to publicly administered long-term supports, including those funded under Medicaid, the Older Americans Act, and state revenue programs.

aging in place. Remaining in the community—ideally in one’s own home—as one grows older.

aging services field. Organizations, corporations, institutions, and individuals such as the Administration on Aging, state units on aging, local-level area agencies on aging, senior centers, continuing care retirement communities, corporations or foundations that own these communities, healthcare-focused community organizations (such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the Visiting Nurse Association), family and professional caregivers, adult day programs, and hospitals.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Signed into law in 1990, this act prohibits discrimination based on disability in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

andragogy. An approach to learner-focused education that describes the art and science of helping adults learn.

assisted living. A facility that bridges the gap between independent living and living in a nursing home or skilled care facility. The staff provides assistance with activities of daily living in a small group home or a larger facility, both of which are licensed by the state.

arts and aging field. Organizations and individuals in the arts and aging services fields who are focused full-time or part-time on providing sustained, high-quality, professionally led, participatory, community arts programs to older adults.

arts education. Sequential, curriculum-based, arts instruction and projects that provide young people with the opportunity to learn the arts by actual experience. Arts education can occur in school or out-of-school. Also called arts learning

arts field. Public, nonprofit, and for-profit arts organizations and institutions such as the National Endowment for the Arts, state and local arts agencies, performing arts organizations, visual and literary arts organizations, arts presenting organizations, and individual artists.

assessment. The process of documenting, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs in measurable terms. One can assess, for example, educational progress, health status, and community assets.

asset-based model. A model of care in communities that acknowledges the vitality, wisdom, experience, and value of all residents regardless of ability. Residents are respected and their desire to remain independent and make their own choices is encouraged. Also called strength-based model.

baby boomer. A person born between 1946 and 1964 during the unusual spike in birth rates that occurred in the United States after World War II.

baseline. A specific value or values that can serve as a comparison or control. Evaluating participants at the beginning of a program, for example, provides a baseline for comparison when evaluating participants again at the program’s conclusion.

Boston Matrix. A grid that charts benefit to participants versus impact on organizational or individual resources. Typically used to prioritize among several programmatic options.

caregiver. An individual who helps a person with his or her activities of daily living. Caregivers can be professional staff, family members, or both.

certified nursing assistant (CNA). The primary professional caregiver of residents in assisted living and long-term care facilities.

charge nurse. An registered nurse or licensed practical nurse who is responsible for supervision of a unit in a long-term care facility. The charge nurse schedules and supervises the nursing staff and provides care to facility residents.

civic engagement. Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can involve individual volunteerism, organizational involvement, and electoral participation and include efforts to address an issue directly, work with others in a community to solve a problem, or interact with institutions of representative democracy.

community. A physical and social construct that include cities, neighborhoods, apartment buildings, condominiums, residential facilities (for example, independent living, assisted living, skilled care/long-term care), and a group of people who interact and share certain things such as values or proximity.

community arts. A concept based on the premise that cultural meaning, expression, and creativity reside within a community. The artist’s task is to collaborate with community members so they can free their imaginations and give form to their creativity.

community cultural development. A range of initiatives undertaken by artists in collaboration with other community members to express identity, concerns, and aspirations through the arts and communications media, while building cultural capacity and contributing to social change.

community schools of the arts. Nonprofit, nondegree-granting, community-based institutions offering open access to quality arts instruction by professional faculty.

community sharing of the art. A celebration at the conclusion of an arts and aging program during which the art that is created is shared with other residents, staff, family members, friends, and members of the public.

continuing-care retirement community (CCRC). A community that offers a continuum of housing, services, and healthcare—independent living, assisted living, nursing care—on one campus or site.

continuum of care. Care services available to assist older adults over their lives and during varying abilities and disabilities, from well to frail. It may include independent living, assisted living, nursing care, home health, home care, and home- and community-based services.

control group. Often part of an evaluation that uses experimental design, a group of people with the same demographics and abilities as the group that participates in the program. The control group—the nonparticipants—helps eliminate alternate explanations of the results of the experiment.

creative arts activity. In the arts and aging field, an arts activity led by a professional teaching artist trained to work with older adults that emphasizes participatory, sequential learning and the process of making art.

creative arts therapies. Art, dance and movement, drama, music, poetry, and psychodrama used during intentional intervention in therapeutic, rehabilitative, community, or educational settings to foster health, communication, and expression; promote the integration of physical, emotional, cognitive, and social functioning; enhance self-awareness; and facilitate change.

culture change. Creating an asset-based model in long-term care facilities so that the environment is one of community rather than of medicine.

curriculum. A complete program of learning that includes identified, desired results; a design for activities and a suggested sequence; and suggested assessment methods.

deficit-based model. A model of care in communities that focuses on old age as a disease and older adults as patients. Also called medical model.

dementia. A condition in which there is a gradual loss of brain function. The main symptoms are usually loss of memory, confusion, problems with speech and understanding, changes in personality and behavior, and an increased reliance on others for activities of daily living. There are a number of types of dementia; Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

director of nursing (DON). The staff member who oversees all nursing staff in assisted living and long-term care facilities. The DON is responsible for formulating nursing policies and monitoring the quality of care delivered, as well as for monitoring the facility’s compliance with federal and state regulations pertaining to nursing care. Also called wellness director.

effective practice. In the arts and aging field, a program that is sustained over the long term; produces the intended results; meets needs; demonstrates participatory, sequential learning; includes professional teaching artists; evaluates impact; demonstrates high quality and excellence; and engenders learning communities.

elder-friendly community. A community that facilitates aging in place by addressing basic needs; promoting social and civic engagement; optimizing physical and mental health and well being; and maximizing independence for those who are frail or have disabilities.

environmental scan. A common technique to determine external opportunities and concerns affecting an organization and to assess the competition for a program or service. See also external assessment.

experimental design. Design of an evaluation method to capture how participants change as a result of a program. The evaluation instrument is administered before and after the program. Also called pre-test/post-test design.

external assessment. Scanning the organization’s environment to discover strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and assess the needs of community members and stakeholders. See also environmental scan.

formative evaluation. Evaluation conducted during the course of a program that helps shape the program, from the initial development through ongoing improvement. Its primary audience is internal (the partnership team). See also summative evaluation.

goals. Future- and results-oriented statements that explain what you want to accomplish in the long term; what difference you are trying to make in the lives of those served; and what you want the program to look like in a specified number of years.

group expectations. Logistical and programmatic ground rules that help ensure harmony among participants (for example, maintain confidentiality, respect different points of view). Often established by group members with a facilitator’s guidance.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Federal law that gives an individual rights over his or her health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive this information.

icebreaker. Exercises at the beginning of a session designed to warm-up participants by focusing their attention, awakening senses, unlocking memories, and preparing the group for creative expression.

independent living. A residential living facility for older adults that may or may not provide supportive services. Generally referred to as elder or senior housing in the government-subsidized environment, independent living also includes rental-assisted or market-rate apartments or cottages where residents usually have complete choice in whether to participate in a facility’s services or programs. Also called retirement community, congregate living, or senior apartment.

instructional design. A task-oriented lesson plan or activity sequence that implies strategic solutions to specific situations.

intergenerational. A program, initiative, or activity in which older adults and children and/or youth explore their commonalities and differences, creating mutual understanding and strengthening community.

internal assessment. Looking at an organization’s own strengths, weaknesses, resources, values, and vision.

learning community. A group of people who have common values and beliefs and are actively engaged in learning together and from each other.

lifelong learning. A process of accomplishing personal, social, and professional development throughout the lifespan of individuals in order to enhance the quality of life of individuals and their communities. Lifelong learning also refers to educational classes, usually affiliated with a college, community college, or university, designed by or for older adults, and often taught by older adults.

lobbying. Citizen activities that attempt to changing laws and influence the decisions of federal, state, and local legislators.

long-term care facility. A residence that provides a variety of services to residents 24 hours a day, such as a room, meals, recreational activities, assistance with activities of daily living, and protection or supervision. Some nursing homes specialize in areas such as Alzheimer’s disease, pain management, and cardiac rehabilitation. Also called skilled care facility, nursing facility, or nursing home.

mastery. Skill or knowledge of a technique or topic. In the arts and aging field, a primary programmatic goal is for older adult participants to gain mastery.

Medicaid. The largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for individuals and families with limited income. It is jointly funded by the states and federal government and managed by the states. Among those served are eligible low-income parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Medicare. A health insurance program administered by the U.S. government covering people who are either age 65 and over or who meet other special criteria. It can cover hospital, medical, and prescription drug expenses.

mission statement. A clear, concise explanation of why an organization exists and what it seeks to accomplish.

naturally occurring retirement community (NORC). A geographic area in which a significant proportion of older adults reside in housing that was not designed or planned with seniors in mind.

No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Federal law that authorizes education programs, mechanisms, and spending.

normal aging. A progressive and cumulative process of change occurring throughout one’s life and over time. It is affected by many factors, including environment and genetics.

objectives. Statements that describe how to achieve programmatic goals. Objectives are specific, measurable, and short-term.

Older Americans Act. Federal law that authorizes policies, spending, and mechanisms such as the Administration on Aging that serve older adults. It is reviewed and reauthorized approximately every 10 years, most recently in 2006.

oral history. A field of study and a method of gathering, preserving, and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events.

out-of-school programs. Community-based education programs for young people that occur after school, on weekends, or in the summer.

outcome evaluation. Evaluation that assesses how the results of a program affected individuals and/or the community and whether the program met its stated goals.

outcome goals. Big-picture goals that describe the effects a program should have on participants.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). A program model centered on the belief that it is best for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs and their families to be served in the community whenever possible. PACE serves individuals who are age 55 and older, certified by their state to need nursing home care, able to live safely in the community at the time of enrollment, and live in a PACE service area.

participatory, sequential learning. Instruction is sequential, with each activity building on the one before it. Each step is challenging yet achievable, and the content emphasizes participation.

partnership team. A learning community and the locus of ongoing, routine communication for a project. Important for planning, training, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the partnership program.

pedagogy. Teacher-focused education; typically used to describe the art or science of educating children.

pre-test/post-test. Evaluation instruments administered before and after a program.

productive aging. A concept that celebrates older adults’ capabilities, potential, and social and economic contributions.

program logic model. An illustration of the theory and assumptions underlying a program. It links short- and long-term outcomes with program activities, processes, assumptions, and principles. The model also clarifies thinking, planning, and communicating about program objectives and benefits.

qualitative evaluation. Evaluation typically conducted through interviews, observation, focus groups, and journals that elicit anecdotes, reactions, impressions, and feelings.

quantitative evaluation. Evaluation typically conducted through surveys and questionnaires that elicit statistics.

recreational therapist. The activities director or staff in hospitals and long-term care facilities. He or she assists patients in leisure activities such as cooking, arts and crafts, and music therapy that can provide a cognitive component to the “work” of physical rehabilitation.

reminiscence. The process or practice of thinking or telling about past experiences.

residents’ council. A group of residents in an independent living, assisted living, or skilled care facility that represents the interests of all residents in planning, developing programs, resolving differences, and communicating with the facility’s leadership.

return on investment (ROI). The ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. In common usage, the term applies to the relative value of a variety of inputs and outputs in different situations.

senior center. A place where older adults gather for services and activities that reflect their experience and skills, respond to their diverse needs and interests, enhance their dignity, support their independence, and encourage their involvement in and with the center and the community. Senior centers often serve the entire community with information on aging; support for family caregivers, training professionals, lay leaders, and students; and development of innovative approaches to aging issues.

social capital. The collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other.

social engagement. Active involvement in the community and with other people, not for the sake of being involved, but to accomplish something of meaning and value for the community. Also refers to a strong social support network of friends and family.

stakeholders. Individuals and groups who care about an organization’s work. Typically, they are funders, partners, participants, and participants’ family members.

summative evaluation. An evaluation method that determines whether a program did what it was designed to do. The primary audience is external (stakeholders, particularly funders). See also formative evaluation.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT). A method of analyzing internal and external assessment results that helps clarify whether the proposed program can work.

teaching artist. An artist with the complementary skills and sensibilities of an educator who engages people in learning experiences in, through, or about the arts.

train the trainer. A method in which a nonartist is trained to facilitate programs. It is most appropriate for programs targeted at people with dementia since the primary outcome goal is social engagement and not mastery.

universal design. An orientation to any design process that starts with a responsibility to the experience of the user. It is a framework for the design of places, things, information, communication, and policy to be usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design.

values statement. Communicates the values or principles of an organization.

vision statement. Communicates what an organization believes its future could be.