A guest post by ARTZ intern Emily Markovich
During my fall semester working with ARTZ, I spent a lot of time reading articles and listening to podcasts about the many ways that the arts can improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their care partners. These articles/podcasts were insightful and moving, so I wanted to share these resources with the ARTZ community in the form of blog posts. For my first post, we are going to take a look at “Creative Arts for People with Dementia,” an article from Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). This article highlights some of the ways the arts positively impact the lives of people living with dementia. I chose to focus on the ways that music and museums specifically have an impact on these people’s lives since most of our programs at ARTZ are art- and music-based.
Music and Song: Singing and listening to music are ways for people living with dementia to unlock parts of their memory that otherwise may have lain dormant. People living with dementia often remember songs, even when other parts of their memory are compromised. Music helps to lift spirits and raise energy levels, as well as to build connections with other people. However, it is important to get to know the person (such as knowing their interests and age) in order to find appropriate music that aligns with their interests and unlocks positive memories and feelings.
Museums: Museums are great places for people living with dementia to engage their creative minds and to interact with other people. They allow for people to see and discuss objects from the museum’s collections, and even to create their own artwork. This can help trigger memories and stimulate engaging conversations. This conversation helps people living with dementia to build connections with one another. This social connection and engagement helps to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia.
These are just a few ways that engaging with the creative arts can improve the lives of people who are living with dementia. Check out the full article, “Creative Arts for People with Dementia,” to read about more ways the arts can awaken the creative minds of people living with dementia and improve their quality of life.