Art app promotes brain health and wellness

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The opportunity to take guided tours of world-renowned art exhibits from the comfort of their homes is bringing enjoyment to older adults and benefitting their brain health.

The ArtontheBrain web-based app is a scientifically-validated, online recreation activity for all older adults, including those with cognitive decline, developed by Baycrest in partnership with museums in Boston, San Francisco, Montreal and Toronto, that can be accessed any time by groups or individuals.

“I like the fact that we are involved; we are not just looking at the art, we are analyzing it. We are making meaning out of it,” says Rochelle, who takes part in a weekly, virtual ArtontheBrain group as a member of Baycrest@Home. “I really look forward to this. I really love it. We all look at the same painting and we all gather different things.” 

ArtontheBrain is one of many programs focused on creative engagement being offered by Baycrest@Home, an online service that supports seniors experiencing cognitive decline, and their families, to help them age safely and well at home. The app is designed to be used with a therapeutic recreationist either one-on-one or in groups, and to be played independently by older adults using their own devices.

“The app is a wonderful way to simulate the experience of going to a gallery,” says Bailey Oake, a Creative Arts specialist with Baycrest@Home, who shares images and facilitates group discussions over Zoom. “Art can really draw people out and this has been very well-received.” 

A recent study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology shows that ArtontheBrain is an effective tool to promote brain health and wellness in older adults, and that older adults enjoy using it. 

You can help older adults like Rochelle live their best lives by donating to Baycrest.
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