Community Integrated Care is supporting pioneering artistic research that explores the impact that touch can have in promoting stimulation and emotional connection in dementia care. The findings will form part of an upcoming exhibition, ‘Hold’, at FACT (Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology) in Liverpool from 13th to 19th February.
Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s biggest and most successful social care charities. It provides specialist support to almost 1000 people who have age-related conditions and dementia in specialist care homes.
Working in collaboration with leading arts collective, Invisible Flock, the charity’s Green Heys Care Home in Waterloo, Merseyside, has been selected to participate in the project called ‘Hold’, funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award – a grant from the charitable foundation for projects that engage the public with biomedical science through the arts. The project is also supported by Professor Nadia Berthouze from University College London (UCL).
The six month programme, which began in August 2016, has seen the artists and technology developers from Invisible Flock spend time with three Green Heys residents who live with dementia, as well as the important people in their lives – including their family members and care staff. Through in-depth conversations and activity sessions they have explored the different everyday ways in which touch is personally important to them.
Invisible Flock have then used this insight to develop innovative technological prototypes that explore the sensory experiences of people living with dementia. The initial prototype – a unique augmented photograph album that can have personal memorable photographs and videos digitally projected onto it – will be on display at the exhibition. This exciting work responds to feedback from many people who live with, or care for someone, with dementia about the importance of nostalgic photographs and traditional items that people can touch and interact with.
Touch is one of the least understood human senses, so it is hoped that this research will have exciting and practical applications in the future, while also informing a large scale sculptural project that will exist in public places.
The exhibition will take place at FACT Liverpool between 13th and 19th February 2017, 11am-6pm. A presentation by Invisible Flock will be held at 4-5pm on 14th February.
Paula Spence, Community Integrated Care’s Director of Older People’s Services, says: “Reminiscence is fundamental to promoting the wellbeing of people who live well with dementia. We fully support Invisible Flock’s exploration of how more interactive and engaging methods can benefit reminiscence activities. The people who live in our homes and their families were involved every step of the way, sharing their thoughts, memories and ideas and were delighted to see these brought to life in such an exciting way.”
Paula continues: “Our charity is extremely proud to have taken part in such innovative and forward-thinking research and we look forward to revealing the very first dementia-related augmented photo album at the exhibition!“