Wellnest: creative program for seniors

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Time and again, the arts have proven to be a helpful companion for senior living. A creative opportunity can be a space where someone is fully engaged, passionate, and absorbed in an activity – no matter what age they are. Creative expression doesn’t require a certain body type, a certain society status, or even talent. Creative expression only requires your presence, and an openness to what emerges from movement, painted lines, sound, words.

WellNest aims to cultivate that openness. The therapeutic foundation of this program ensures that activities and interactions are meaningful and intentional for bringing out the best of the present moment. Through mornings of creativity, movement, and fellowship, it aims to uplift the lives of older adults – stimulating the mind, exercising the body, bringing people together, and highlighting the value of the well-lived life.

In this program, participants will:

  1. Experience a safe space to express themselves and engage in active exploration through various expressive art modalities such as painting, dance, music, among others.
  2. Participate in opportunities for social connection and enjoyment through art and play.
  3. Experience the brain-wise power of the arts to stimulate memory and meaning.
  4. Engage in dance/movement therapy groups that aim to integrate the mind, the body and the spirit to develop a stronger sense of self grounded in the here and now.
  5. Benefit from the personal care, concern, presence and gentle guidance offered by facilitators attuned to their specific needs.

Contact us to run this program for your group.


Joey Atayde, M.S., R-DMT
Joey is a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist with the American Dance Therapy Association. After practicing as a ballerina for 15 years, she pursued graduate studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where she finished her Master of Science in dance/movement therapy – with distinction. As a dance/movement therapist, Joey has worked with numerous individuals ranging from children to seniors. Her clinical practice includes children with autism and developmental delays, adults with various mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, dementia, among others. Upon arriving in the Philippines in 2017, Joey has given talks about integrating dance/movement therapy into Filipino culture at the Ateneo de Manila School of Medicine, UP Philippine General Hospital, Brain Wellness Center at Asian Hospital & Medical Center, and at The Learning Child School. She is currently the Expressive Arts Program Director of MAGIS where she is a practicing clinician doing therapy with children and adults, runs various support groups and an expressive arts summer camp, and designs and facilitates training programs for various organizations including the East Asian Pastoral Institute, the Social Work Department of the University of Southern Philippines.

Bambi Gamban, M.A. Cand.
Bambi is an expressive arts practitioner, resource speaker, workshop facilitator and retreat director, completing her Masters degree in Theology at the Divine Word School of Theology in Tagaytay City. She has facilitated values camps for elementary students and has conducted retreats and team-building workshops for both children and adults for various organizations. Bambi has been trained directly by expressive arts pioneers Paolo and Margo Knill, and in expressive arts trauma integration as part of MAGIS’ professional training of trainers. Bambi has been closely mentored as a trainer by board certified clinicians and has co-facilitated numerous workshops on self-care and psychosocial integration through arts-based approaches serving organizations such as the East Asian Pastoral Institute, the Asian Hospital Brain Wellness Center, the Philippine Heart Center, Cartwheel Foundation and the University of Southern Philippines. Her background also includes professional theatre production work, catering, tap dancing and graphic design.


Other services available within MAGIS

Seniors enrolled at WellNest may avail of other beneficial services to complement their day program. These may be incorporated into their schedule during each visit, and can be arranged directly with the WellNest Facilitators or the MAGIS team at the MAGIS Creative Spaces reception.

Neurofeedback is one of the newest therapies available in the country, which can help senior citizens as they continue to age. It can boost the brain by enhancing memory, concentration, sleep, mood, verbal comprehension and overall cognitive performance.It alters the way the brain operates by making it more efficient, through working with brainwaves to bring them to their optimum level of function. This can be especially beneficial for senior citizens with dementia as this can maximize the use of surviving neurons.

Individual Expressive Arts Therapy Sessions
In an individual therapy session, a client works with a psychotherapist and with different expressive arts modalities to address issues and/or maintain wellness in mind, body, and spirit. The use of the arts is an opportunity for a client to be grounded through manipulating material with the body, storytelling, and use of memory and imagination.

Individual Art, Pottery and Music Classes
Activities in Wellnest can also be pursued individually. Working with one of our artist teachers closely for skills-based development can further encourage creativity. This helps promote continued wellbeing and a sense of independence through lifelong learning.