21 September 2011
ARTS 4 DEMENTIA LAUNCHES ON WORLD ALZHEIMER’S DAY TO BRIDGE GAP IN CARE
A new charity launches today to bridge a vital gap in dementia care. On World Alzheimer’s Day, 21 September 2011, Arts 4 Dementia1 is being introduced to re-energise and inspire people in the early stages of dementia through artistic stimulation (musical performance, practical, visual and performing arts). The charity offers an online hub for dementia sufferers, their carers and families, weekly arts sessions for those affected by dementia and a lottery funded conference on best practice for arts and care providers.
820,000 people in England and Wales have been diagnosed with dementia2, a group of degenerative brain disorders of which the most common form is Alzheimer’s disease. Two thirds live at home for up to twelve years.
Chief Executive of Arts 4 Dementia, Veronica Franklin Gould, says: “As it stands, there is a vital gap in care for people in the early stages of dementia. Sufferers and their families are prepared for dealing with increased memory loss, but there is little direction to help them keep their minds engaged. Once dementia has set in, the creative part of the brain can continue to function for many more years and artistic stimulation is a powerful, sociable way to open up communication channels.
“Too many sufferers remain alone at home, reluctantly reliant on family and friends. Together, they struggle to cope with increasing memory loss and confusion, anxious and isolated by the perceived stigma surrounding dementia.”
Says Dr Natalie Ryan, Dementia Research Centre, University College, London: “Engaging with the arts can maximise aspects of cognitive function; empowering people with dementia and enriching life for them and those around them.”
Arts 4 Dementia’s website (www.arts4dementia.org.uk) identifies opportunities for people with memory loss, their families, carers and care services. It provides guidance for memory engagement through the arts. Sponsored by Lloyd’s Insurance Brokers Besso Ltd, the website hosts a community forum, enabling people to connect with each other, sharing advice, personal experiences and more. The website is available to preview from Tuesday 20th September 2011.
Piloted between September 2010 and September 2011, Arts 4 Dementia’s weekly arts sessions are tailored for people with dementia and their carers. These sessions are a constructive opportunity to take part in art forms that resonate with each attendee. The success of these sessions has led to a programme of participatory workshops and performances scheduled throughout 2012, covering music, art, comedy, dance, drama, photography and poetry and communication.
Arts 4 Dementia has received lottery funding which will enable the charity to present a conference on best practice in the delivery of arts activities for those with dementia. Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Conference takes place on 14th November 2011 at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
“The concept is that engaging in arts activity on a regular basis enables people with dementia to live better and longer at home. Our participants are rediscovering their voices, to the surprise of their loved ones. Looking at art, memory problems vanish as they find fresh, in the moment interpretations,” Veronica Franklin Gould, Chief Executive of A4D concludes.
For media enquiries, please contact Veronica Franklin Gould on 020 8780 5217 or 07713 636381, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
- 1. Arts 4 Dementia is a registered charity (1140842) and registered company (7511427). The mission of the organisation is to help develop arts activities in the community that will enable those with dementia to live better and longer in their home.
- 2. Source: All About Dementia, Alzheimer’s Research UK 2010.