Together with Amy L. Harris, I have been documenting the affect that art has on people suffering from various forms of dementia. Visit our website to see more images and to read more about The Creative Connections Project.
Using recreation therapy to enrich the lives of people who live with dementia.
Painting, collage, music, dance. Being creative brings us joy and solace. It helps us connect with others, often nonverbally. For people living with dementia, creativity offers all these benefits and more—an improvement in negative symptoms that accompany dementia.
Cognitive decline begins with loss of language functioning. The abilities of the creative rhythmic centers of the brain, however, are among the last to be affected. Stimulating the creative brain is important as dementia progresses because it gives participants a crutch to lean on as they lose other functioning.
Creative Connections Project seeks to raise awareness of the power of creativity to enrich the lives of people with dementia and help them connect with loved ones.
The project will:
- Offer free recreation therapy sessions to individuals living with dementia
- Provide caregivers with new ways to connect with their loved ones
- Document the process with artistic photos to inspire and educate others
- Offer individual professional portraits of each participant