Easing Dementia Through Art

February 24, 2012 | By | Reply More

Elderly residents at a luxury care facility in Redcar have been rolling up their sleeves and getting messy in a bespoke arts and crafts session designed to ease the effects of dementia.

Yew Tree Care Centre recently welcomed specialist creative practitioner, Claire Ford to host a workshop at the facility, as part of their commitment to roll out the very best in elderly healthcare.

From sculpture and painting, through to poetry reading and storytelling, residents sampled a range of sensory-based activities all designed to enhance their health and wellbeing in a relaxed atmosphere.

Sam Jones, activity co-ordinator at Yew Tree Care Centre which offers 76 ensuite bedrooms, said: “We like to offer all our residents a wide variety of activities and when we heard about Claire’s bespoke workshops we knew that they would provide a valuable therapeutic and fun experience to all our residents.

“Whether its arts and crafts, cooking, gardening in our greenhouse and allotment, or simply socialising and watching a good film, we aim to provide an environment which is socially stimulating, keeping the minds of our residents active.”

Claire Ford has recently returned to the North East following a lengthy research mission throughout America. It was during her travels that she decided to concentrate her energies on conducting bespoke workshops for the elderly and people suffering with dementia.

She said: “My focus is to use art as a tool to stimulate and empower people with dementia. One of the key outcomes of the workshops is to encourage self expression and promote self understanding. The residents at Yew Tree responded really well to the workshop many used it as a vehicle to reminisce which is often the case when they are provided with a creative setting.

“Forward thinking care homes like Yew Tree are ensuring that our elderly population is being well cared for, by making it their priority to provide an inspiring and caring environment in which to express themselves. I am looking forward to working closely with them in the future.”

Research shows that as we get older, we become more creative and while cognitive ability deteriorates with dementia, creativity increases and therefore it is crucial to provide dementia sufferers with alternative ways of communicating. 

Sam concludes: “The session was popular with our residents suffering from dementia, as well as with our general residents, and families were quick to get involved too. It was an absolute delight to see everyone participating together and having such a good time.”

Yew Tree Care Centre is one of 30 care facilities owned by the Executive Care Group and is located on Yew Tree Avenue in Redcar. More information can be obtained by telephoning 01642 489 480 or visiting www.execcaregroup.co.uk

Claire Ford is running creative workshops with a range of groups across the North East of England. For more information, visit www.bespokeartworkshops.co.uk.

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