Derbyshire families have played key role in major national research project, ‘Dementia and Imagination’ and the project is due to end with an exhibition of their work opening this week.
Around 100 patients, families and staff from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust have participated in the research to explore how art can improve the lives of patients with dementia and have an impact on the communities around them.
Professional artists from Nottingham Contemporary, one of the largest contemporary art centres in the UK, have provided arts interventions, and researchers have been looking at how art can be used most effectively in treating patients with memory loss.
The exhibition is curated by artists and researchers from Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University. As well as displaying some of the works made by people with dementia, the exhibition offers insight into the ambitious ‘Dementia and Imagination’ research project. It is thought that such public exhibitions can help challenge people’s perceptions of dementia and build more dementia-friendly communities.
The study is being led by Bangor University in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, with support from multiple partners, including the Alzheimer’s Society, Arts & Humanities Research Council and academic partners from six other universities across England and Wales.
Lorraine Turner, occupational therapist based at Newholme Hospital, Bakewell, said; “We know from our work with dementia patients and their families in Derbyshire how well they respond to creative arts activities. We have seen with our own eyes how patients who have withdrawn as a result of their illness can engage again with the people around them through sharing art activities. The results can be amazing.”
Researcher Dr Kat Taylor, a clinical psychologist with “Arts for Health” at Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (part of Manchester Metropolitan University), said: ““Through the artists’ interventions and patient’s engagement, we are getting closer to being able to say what works in art intervention and what role art can play in making dementia-friendly communities.”
The exhibition will be accessible to view at the Parish Centre of Chesterfield’s Crooked Spire (St. Mary’s Church) this week between 12th and 15th November.
More details of the study are available on the website: