There is a growing body of research indicating a profound link between art and music and people who live with dementia. In the fall of 2010 an application was made by the We Rage We Weep Alzheimer Foundation of Victoria, BC for a private trust donation made by a resident of Oak Bay. The Foundation was the successful candidate. But, there was one stipulation: the donation had to be used to contribute in a positive way that would benefit seniors.
Arts & Alzheimer’s is an art and music participation program for seniors with dementia living at home with their caregivers. It can be enjoyed by those with all stages of Alzheimer’s or related dementia as well as people who have been artists or musicians and those who have not. The goal of the program is stimulating minds and supporting caregivers. The program accomplishes this goal through engaging clients in various art projects such as drawing, painting, decorating cookies, flower arranging and other creative endeavours. Participants are encouraged to sing along, even dance, with the musical portion of the sessions. Arts & Alzheimer’s utilizes the best practices of dementia care including socialization, interaction with others, structured routine, non-verbal activity, an expressive outlet and the continued contribution of those with dementia.
Caregivers Benefit, Too!
Caregivers also have an opportunity to relax. They have the option to stay and participate or they may use this time to attend appointments or run errands. Caregivers may decide to meet up with friends or family for a relaxing cup of coffee providing a much deserved respite from care giving.
The Saint Elizabeth Connection
With the support of Saint Elizabeth, a Canada-wide home and community care organization, and its health care professionals who offer a wealth of expertise, community and client connections, We Rage We Weep Alzheimer Foundation launched its Arts & Alzheimer’s Program in 2011. Saint Elizabeth Health Care is an elder-friendly organization that, amongst myriad solutions, provides services which allow more children, adults and seniors to be cared for at home.
Saint Elizabeth’s Long-Term Care and Gerontology Program is focused on the unique needs of the older adult, their families and their caregivers. Our approach to care is client-driven, respecting the elder’s right to choose and encouraging full participation in decision-making about care. Saint Elizabeth’s multidisciplinary team of care providers focuses on assisting older adults to remain well and in their own homes by:
- Creating a care plan that minimizes risks
- Assisting other family members and caregivers with education and resources
- Providing links to other community support services.
For more information of the services provided by Saint Elizabeth Health Care:
Toll Free: 1-866-786-0444
For more information to register for the Arts & Alzheimer's program: