Getting Creative group launched in North East Memory Clinic
Throughout 2019 we supported staff and patients at the Newcastle Memory Assessment and Management Service to take part in creative sessions.
The innovative project has used a variety of creative and artistic approaches to help communicate thoughts and feelings with patients, their carers and staff.
Read all about the project and its outcomes here in the January 2020 edition of The Journal of Dementia Care.
Together the group have explored visual arts, creative writing and multi-sensory artistic methods at part of the £75,000 scheme.
We've been training staff using the Imagination Model, which combines an understanding of their own creativity with how important it can be for people with dementia.
Equal Arts' Kate Parkin said: "Taking part in the training can support staff to seek new ways to communicate and engage with patients, adding value to their professional lives, and helping them serve their patients better.
"Our team has also supported staff, patients and carers, to create support groups led by professional artists who specialise in delivery of programmes with older people."
The Newcastle service, which is part of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust receives 80 – 100 referrals per month, and approximately 60 per cent of patients are diagnosed with dementia.
Creative activities are helpful interventions within dementia care, with patients showing improved cognitive processes, attention, stimulation of memories and enhanced communication with carers.
Dr Charlotte Allan, Consultant Psychiatrist, Newcastle Memory Assessment and Management Service, said: “Patients and carers showed delight and surprise in their creations, sharing photos with family and using this as a talking point. They felt relaxed, happy and positive during sessions, developing an increased sense of wellbeing and confidence and reported a reduction in loneliness and isolation."
This January participants will have their work exhibited at the service at the Campus for the Health of the Elderly in Newcastle.
The project was among 23 nationally to share £1.65m from The Health Foundation’s Innovating and Improvement Programme.