A fellow artist just called my attention to a website, Americans for the Arts, and an article on the future of healthcare ... this essay entitled Arts, Health, & Wellness looks at changes in the American healthcare system and the role that the arts may play in positively impacting those changes over the next 10–15 years. In particular, this essay proposes the following trends and associated arts interventions:
Future healthcare will focus on the healing of the whole person and will specifically focus more fully on preventative care. In addition, a growing shortage of healthcare professionals will lead to a shift in tasks to adjacent professionals and are structuring generally of the healthcare team. Art and artists have a high potential to become more fully integrated into the healthcare team, entrusted with the care of our citizens, through design, arts-based therapies, and preventative exercise regimens.
The Affordable Care Act and other new legislation will provide support for mental healthcare for the many people who have lacked access to those services in the past. Artistsand creative arts therapists will continue to be among the first responders to trauma and crisis. The arts will also be utilized more fully as therapeutic alternatives to medication and as away of easing and providing comfort to the families of those suffering.
As the population of persons 85 and older grows exponentially, so will the need for interventions that can prolong cognitive function, increase quality of life and socialization, and allow for alternatives for a pending shortage of family caregivers. The arts, already known as a good mechanism for dealing with some of these issues, will come into wider use as a way of bettering the lives of our oldest Americans.