Academics are working with a charity on an “innovative activity toolkit” to encourage creative activities among people living with dementia in care homes.
The toolkit was developed by Artlink Central, a charity that offers artist-led participatory programmes to support people from disadvantaged groups.
“It’s hoped that the toolkit will be rolled out across the UK health and social care sector”
It is designed for use by staff in day care centres and residential care settings to support people with dementia by prompting conversation and reminiscence.
The theme of the first toolkit is gardens. It provides eight topics around the theme to prompt conversation and activities – such as drawing, colouring, collage, planting bulbs and designing an ideal garden.
Users will be able to draw, colour in and spark conversation using themed cards.
Artlink Central also plans to develop further kits around popular themes such as food, sports, music and movies.
Researchers at the University of Stirling are evaluating the toolkit.
Dr Jane Robertson, lecturer in dementia studies at Stirling, said: “The toolkit aims to bring a number of benefits to people living with dementia by encouraging constructive conversations on a range of topics, engaging with personal histories and building social connections in care centres.
Activity toolkit developed for dementia patients
“We’ll assess whether the toolkit delivers in these key areas and recommend how the product can be enhanced to ensure we achieve the best possible results for people living with dementia,” she said.
“We will be partnering with local organisations to test the toolkit in day care centres and residential care homes,” said Dr Robertson.
She added: “It’s hoped that the toolkit will be rolled out across the UK health and social care sector this summer and help strengthen the relationship between the arts, health and care sectors.”