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Arts 4 Dementia

Arts 4 Dementia is a young charity helping to develop and co-ordinate high-quality intergenerational arts opportunities for families affected by dementia in the community - from diagnosis - stimulating brain activity and bringing inspirational relief from anxiety and confusion, for them, their families and carers.

10 February 2016
Recreation, Health, Arts, Voluntary Sector

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Arts 4 Dementia (A4D) helps to develop stimulating weekly workshops at arts venues as cognitive rehabilitation to re-energise and inspire people affected by early stage dementia, and their carers. The A4D website aims to signpost wide-ranging activities for dementia in the community, at arts venues nationwide. 

Developing and Promoting Learning Opportunities at Arts Venues 

A4D works with learning departments of arts organisations to set up weekly workshops, covering art, dance, drama and scriptwriting, music, photography and poetry. Designed to override the stresses of dementia, A4D workshops are challenging but achievable, enjoyable and rewarding. A4D liaises with Dementia UK to provide training for workshop leaders and volunteers, and with local mental health and carer teams, branches of Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society for referrals. Evaluation of our London projects, analysed in association with Canterbury Christ Church University, (funded by The Baring Foundation and The Rayne Foundation), produced the first multiple art form resource for people in the early stages of dementia. By promoting nationwide arts opportunities on the A4D website, we aim to combat the stigma and isolation associated with dementia and enable participants to locate their chosen form of stimulation close to home. 

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Reaching people soon after diagnosis due to NHS restructuring. While some memory services identify patients who would most benefit from each course of workshops, the merging of community mental health teams means that overstretched staff – albeit enthusiastic – have little time to contact potential participants. Direction to GPs, care managers and patients on diagnosis in dementia literature will encourage them to seek rewarding artistic stimulation that can override their symptoms. 

Funding will enable our young charity to increase our staff and therefore more projects and wider networks to help stimulate more people around the country.

2. Actions

  • A4D recommendation to artistic stimulation

    Arts 4 Dementia is campaigning for recommendation to artistic stimulation be given to patients on diagnosis, through GPs, diagnostic services, memory services, care managers, social servicees and occupational therapists


    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    Public Health England reissues "Little Book of Friendship" quoting A4D Friends (workshop participants) on joy of arts activities.

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    Arts 4 Dementia invited to address Joint All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Dementia and on Arts and Health, proposing that patients are given a free arts for wellbeing or therapy session on diagnosis, for direction to the arts and movement activity of their choice as a constructive way to override dementia symptoms for as long as possible.

    Arts 4 Dementia produces film in which A4D Friends explains the efficacy of A4D workshop practice and states that people should be informed of this on diagnosis. "We had been looking two years for this"

    2013 - Fourth Quarter Update

    At Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Seminar, Alison Cook of the Alzheimer's promises to support Arts 4 Dementia's aims

    2013 - Second Quarter Update

    Launch of Reawakening the Mind evaluation of Arts 4 Dementia's London Arts Challenge, Arts interventions to re-energise and inspire people in the early stages of dementia and their carers - Baroness Greengross's introductory quote recommends memory services to liaise with arts organisations to provide stimulation to families on diagnosis

  • Spreading Awareness of the Impact of Artistic Stimulation

    Arts 4 Dementia is committed to spreading awareness of the impact of artistic stimulation for people affected by dementia, from diagnosis

    Being implemented

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    The Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Symposium 2015 "Musicianship and Access for Early Stage Dementia - The Way Forward", hosted on 17 April by Wigmore Hall, provided a platform for orchestras, opera houses and choral groups to present their programmes for people affected by early stage dementia and carers, for conservatoires to discuss existing and potential educational programmes for music students wishing to work with people with early stage dementia and for performance venues to discuss daytime opportunities and carer discounts for people affected by dementia.

  • Work with Agencies to Help Develop Arts Activities

    Arts 4 Dementia is working increasingly with other agencies to help develop arts activities to re-energise and inspire people affected by early stage dementia and their carers.

    Being implemented

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    Throughout the year - Arts 4 Dementia has been working with the Alzheimer's Society to develop and deliver early-stage dementia awareness training at arts venues to inform arts workshop leaders and postgraduate arts students and enable them to re-energise and inspire people in the early stages of dementia and their carers

    2014 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Arts 4 Dementia is liaising year-round with arts organisations to encourage them to both introduce A4D workshops and signpost their programmes for people affected by early stage dementia and their carers on the Arts 4 Dementia website.

  • Establish Arts and Health Pathway

    Arts 4 Dementia liaises with memory and diagnostic services, age and care teams to inform them about arts workshops available to people affected by early stage dementia and their carers.

    Being implemented
  • Provide Volunteer Awareness Training

    Arts 4 Dementia works with Dementia Pathfinders to provide awareness training for volunteers and workshop leaders planning creative activities for people in the early stages of dementia.

    Being implemented
  • Signpost Nationwide Arts Activities

    Arts 4 Dementia’s aim is to signpost nationwide arts activities for people living with dementia in the community from diagnosis, and their carers. Our aim is that they will be able to find stimulation in their chosen art form close to where they live.

    Being implemented

    2014 - First Quarter Update

    The Arts 4 Dementia website now signposts arts activities for dementia in the community, providing a What's On - style diary, by: 

    Art form locality throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Day of the Week