Eight weekly discussions in the galleries, led by freelance community arts educator Sara Dibb, with Sophie Martin Education Officer at The Wallace Collection, September-November 2010 (Project now in use for training).
"You can imagine it, can’t you?" a participant with early onset Alzheimer’s responds to Sara’s account of the colourful life of the Wallace Collection founder, her eyes lighting up at the thought. Fascinated by the lightness and articulation of eighteenth-century gauntlets, she tried on a helmet in the armoury, then a hat in the style of Vigée Le Brun’s Mme Perregaux (1789): "That was really something! – I keep forgetting about it." [Alzheimer’s].
Carer, whose octogenarian mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia four years ago:
"Thank you for lifting Mum’s spirits. The stimuli did her such good. Mum has been so chirpy … full of stories and happy memories. Arts 4 Dementia at the Wallace definitely picked her up. Mum was much more animated afterwards. The course is giving her a real boost. I am so happy to be doing it with her. It’s wonderful to look more slowly. You actually look at the detail. For all the horribleness of dementia, she still does love people. The Wallace is the perfect place for such pioneering focused training. Everyone says mum is on fine form at the moment and I know it's because of all the attention and stimulus she's been getting. It makes the role of carer much more fun.”