This breakout session includes the following two topics: Postcard Connections - Creative Arts & Dementia Friendly Communities and Dance - A Pleasureable Exercise.
Lisa Hort & Debbie Sommers, Artist & Port Macquarie Museum
Postcard Connections – Creative Arts and Dementia Friendly Communities: ‘Postcard Connections’ was a collaborative, creative and connective project culminating in a public exhibition at the Port Macquarie Museum in April 2018 for the NSW Seniors Festival. The project aimed to put being ‘dementia friendly’ into practice and to demonstrate the value and benefits of a dementia friendly community by building links between people living with dementia, dementia support and community organisations.
The exhibition came about through collaborations between Lisa Hort, a Port Macquarie based Creative Ageing Practitioner, the clients from Omnicare Alliance Day Centres, Port Macquarie, University of the Third Age (U3A) Textile Artists and the Port Macquarie Museum.
Lisa has been designing and delivering innovative creative programs including TimeSlips, Arts in Health and a Postcard Art Swap with Canada within her community and approached the Port Macquarie Museum about piloting some heritage based, hands on programs. The Port Macquarie Museum had signed up to be a dementia friendly organisation and wanted to do more than tick the boxes.
The resulting four week exhibition featured Postal Art Swap Cards and artworks from the Omnicare Alliance’s, Creative Connection group, textile artworks from Port Macquarie U3A textile artists and some of the objects that inspired the art works. The exhibition was viewed by over 2000 people including the artists, their families and friends. Most importantly it demonstrated that living with dementia need not inhibit imagination or creativity, and the importance of having an inclusive community where people living with dementia can participate, and feel included and valued.
This session will discuss the project methodology and outcomes, creative art programs for people living with dementia and how these have developed into wider community programs.
Fay Walker, Macleay Valley House
Dance – A pleasurable exercise: Research has shown that the benefits of exercise for a person living with dementia is multi-faceted, including maintaining mobility, physical fitness and providing emotional, social and physical wellbeing.
This session will show the wonderful results of a small research project we carried out in our dementia unit. The aim was to determine whether the use of dance would benefit people living with dementia in relation to balance, mobility and contribute to increased levels of happiness.
With the assistance of the Physiotherapy team, balance and mobility tests were carried out prior to the commencement of the project and at the completion.
Participants practiced twice weekly for one hour over eight weeks culminating in a formal dinner dance at the end. Enthusiasm for participation increased notably in all participants over the eight week period, especially some who did not join in at first, but by the end they were some of the most keen.
The results of this study were very exciting, with the participants becoming more socially engaged and physically active. The increased level of happiness and confidence was evident in many.
I look forward to sharing some of the inspiring and special stories with you.