ART AND DEMENTIA​

Art is magic. It speaks to our hearts, touches our souls, and often, it can heal. For those living with dementia, it holds a special kind of magic. Although we know making art can do wonders, there’s something else quite beautiful and simple: watching art unfold in a video. This might seem like a passive activity, but it’s quite the opposite. 

lady paint

The Voise Foundation’s YouTube channel offers a convenient and cost-effective platform for accessing art sensory videos.

7 Ways Art Enriches Dementia Care

1. Promotes Emotional Well-being: Art holds an incredible capacity to evoke deep emotions, providing comfort and happiness.

2. Fosters Cognitive Stimulation: Watching art unfold stimulates cognitive functions like attention, perception, and memory.

3. Improves Social Engagement: Sharing the art-viewing experience promotes social interactions, stimulating conversations and shared memories.

4. Enhances Neural Activation: Visual stimulation activates brain areas related to creativity, memory, and aesthetic appreciation.

5. Encourages Self-expression: Art provides a platform for individuals with dementia to express themselves, even when verbal communication becomes challenging.

6. Facilitates Connection: Observing art creation can build connections between individuals, caregivers, and family members, creating shared experiences.

7. Cultivates Sense of Purpose: 

Engaging with art can help individuals with dementia maintain a sense of purpose and dignity, supporting overall quality of life.

Dementia Care Through the Power of Art: Expert Endorsements and Benefits

These influential voices in the field of dementia care stand united, amplifying the transformative impact of art and its ability to empower, inspire, and uplift those living with dementia.

Art and Dementia Visual Stimulation

Dr. John Zeisel: Pioneering person-centered art interventions in dementia care, fostering self-expression, cognitive engagement, and a sense of purpose for individuals living with dementia.

Dementia Action Alliance: Promoting person-centered care and embracing various art forms, including visual arts, music, dance, and drama, to enhance well-being and joy.

Dr. Cameron Camp: Emphasizing the value of art as a means of self-expression and engagement, with an emphasis on adapting activities to suit individual abilities and interests.

Dr. Anne Basting: Pioneering creative aging and dementia care, highlighting the power of storytelling, creative expression, and art-based interventions to foster dignity, autonomy, and connection.

Memory Bridge: Uniting empathy and art, using techniques like storytelling and creative arts to forge meaningful connections and communication with individuals experiencing memory loss.

Alzheimer’s Association: Advocating for art therapy as a non-pharmacological intervention, enabling creative expression and self-discovery for individuals with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society UK: 

Advocating for art-based activities such as painting, drawing, and crafts to promote well-being, self-expression, and communication among individuals with dementia.

Art and dem cognitive neural

The Evocative Power of Visual Stimulation

Visual stimulation holds a remarkable capacity to engage and captivate individuals with dementia, as it taps into preserved cognitive abilities and emotional responses. Watching art being created on video offers a unique and immersive sensory experience, enabling individuals to observe the intricate process, vibrant colors, varied textures, and fluid movements involved in artistic creation. This visual stimulation becomes a catalyst for evoking dormant memories, eliciting emotional responses, and activating specific areas of the brain associated with creativity and aesthetic appreciation.

Cognitive Stimulation and Neural Activation

Research suggests that visual stimulation, such as watching art being created, can stimulate cognitive functions in individuals with dementia. Observing the artistic process on video can activate neural pathways associated with attention, perception, and memory retrieval.

This passive engagement provides cognitive stimulation without the pressure of active participation, allowing individuals to engage in a meaningful and enriching experience. This engagement also influences the release of neurotransmitters, including oxytocin, associated with pleasure, emotional well-being, and social bonding.

Emotional Resonance and Well-being

Art possesses a unique ability to touch the deepest parts of an individual’s being. The act of observing art creation on video becomes a language that transcends the limitations imposed by cognitive decline. It offers a means of expression, understanding, and connection that stimulates the brain in ways that no other activity can.

art and dem emotions

Fostering Connection and Social Engagement

Watching art being created on video can also serve as a catalyst for social interaction and engagement. Caregivers, family members, and individuals with dementia can come together to share the experience of observing art unfold. This shared experience promotes social connection, stimulates conversation, and provides a platform for meaningful engagement and reminiscence.

Art and Dem hand
Art and Dem Watching videos

Practical Considerations and Recommendations

When utilizing videos of art creation for individuals with dementia, several practical considerations can enhance the effectiveness and accessibility of this therapeutic approach. The Voise Foundation, a notable organization dedicated to dementia care, offers a valuable resource through their YouTube channel, providing art sensory videos that are both highly convenient and cost-effective.

Accessibility and Cost-Effectiveness 

Creating a Supportive Environment 

Catering to Individual Preferences

Visual Clarity and Engagement

Pacing and Reflection