Equal Arts leading the way in creative care for people living with dementia
Equal Arts is leading European development on the use of creativity in care homes to support people living with dementia.
Older people’s charity Equal Arts will this week host visitors from Amsterdam as part of a year-long initiative known as NowHere.
The week-long study trip will see Vera Broos from the Arts in Care Foundation and Marjolein Gysels, an anthropologist with the University of Amsterdam, meeting artists, residents and staff in care homes in Gateshead and South Shields.
Supported by Equal Arts, the care settings are leading examples of how creativity can benefit those living with dementia through regular sessions with artists.
NowHere aims to give artists across Europe the opportunity to explore how they can bring creativity to care homes and learn from the charity’s work in the North East.
For more than 30 years Equal Arts has supported older people living in the region with creative projects aimed at combating loneliness and improving wellbeing.
Its success in the field sees Director of Development Alice Thwaite sitting on the current advisory group for the Government’s initiative to make the arts sector more dementia-friendly.
Alice said: “There is a growing understanding that creativity is intact long after other cognitive functions decline.
“While there is an emerging recognition of the benefits of the arts, artists haven’t had the opportunity to reflect on how this impacts on their own work.
“It is also important for care staff to understand the importance of creativity for people with dementia as it can give them additional ways of communication with people who have little.
“Linking with Amsterdam we can help artists share how they work with residents and staff in care settings and explore new ways of running these sessions.”
The NowHere project is a part of TANDEM, a European cultural exchange funded by the British Council and a variety of European cultural foundations.
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