art & dementia
Everyone was blown away by the outcomes. The effects on their wellbeing were profound.
After witnessing both of my parents' heartbreaking transition into aged care, I knew there was more that could be done to improve the quality of life for the elderly. So I began a PhD project to study artmaking as a healthy endeavour for people living with dementia.
After extensive research, I designed and developed the Drawing Memories Program, customising the activities for a diverse range of (dis)abilities. The program was implemented and tested over 12 weeks in two Uniting Care Aged Care facilities. The effects that art making had on their wellbeing was profound.
The findings were presented at the 2013 Design4Health Conference, Sheffield, England and the 6th Annual International Arts and Health Conference 2014, Melbourne Australia and the 2018 Creativity and the Brain Symposium, Newcastle, Australia. The Drawing Memories workshop was presented at the 2019 RED Conference - A Regional Experience in Dementia Care, Port Macquarie NSW.
There is such a huge need for research in the area of dementia and other cognitive and physical disabilities, including those with ASD and ADHD. I'm keen to partner with funding bodies and anyone who wants to link arms with me and my vision to promote better quality of life for those living with dementia and disability.
You can read about my research findings on art and dementia here.