Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Conference Highlights
Arts 4 Dementia's Best Practice Conference was held at the Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP on 14 November 2011.
ARTS 4 DEMENTIA INAUGURAL CONFERENCE TACKLES “VITAL GAP” IN DEMENTIA CARE
Arts 4 Dementia's inaugural conference brought leaders in the arts, care and health services to the Royal Albert Hall, London, to set out best practice in the delivery of arts programmes for dementia sufferers, all working towards the shared goal of re-energising and inspiring people in the early stages of dementia through community-based arts activities.
“Artistic stimulus is one of the keys to a fulfilled life for people with dementia. The arts organisations offering opportunities for them and their families, friends and carers are filling a vital gap in dementia care,” says Baroness Greengross, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group of Dementia and Keynote Speaker at the conference. She continues: “I am proposing the pursuit of art activities is recommended to care managers and to patients on diagnosis, as part of a comprehensive package of care and support.”
The Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Conference explores how arts activity can improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their families, what community-based arts activities can be developed to fill the gap in dementia care and what constitutes best practice in the delivery of arts programmes.
Keynote speakers include: Baroness Greengross, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, and Arts 4 Dementia patron Harry Cayton CBE, author of the Department of Health and Arts Council England’s A Prospectus for Arts and Health. Says Harry Cayton CBE, “The arts contribute greatly to our health and well-being. They humanise care for people and foster meaning in people living with dementia and those who care for them.”
Gillian Wolfe, director of learning and public affairs at Dulwich Picture Gallery says, "‘Without doubt regular creative activity stimulates the mind." A participant at Dulwich's award-winning ‘Good Times: Art for Older People’ programme told her, ‘I thought I was brain dead before I came here’. Gillian, a trustee of Arts for Dementia, adds, 'There is mounting evidence to show the beneficial effects of long term and consistent arts related engagement."
Chief Executive of Arts 4 Dementia, Veronica Franklin Gould, says: “When people are first diagnosed with 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. 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, and to enable to live better and longer in their own homes.
“We hope that recommendations made at the Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Conference will encourage people with memory loss and their families to engage in arts activities of special interest to them, to pursue a fulfilled life for as long as possible.”
Arts 4 Dementia works to bridge the gap in dementia care with an arts outreach programme to re-energise and inspire people in the early stages of dementia. The charity plans a London-wide programme of weekly arts sessions for people with dementia, covering music, art, comedy, dance, drama, photography, poetry and communication n 2012.
Arts 4 Dementia’s website (www.arts4dementia.org.uk) signposts arts activities available through the charity and nationwide, offering advice to people with memory loss, their families, carers and care services, arts organisations and all touched by dementia.