Impact of the ‘Artful Moments’ Intervention on Persons with Dementia and Their Care Partners: a Pilot Study
Engaging with art can be valuable for persons living with dementia. ‘Artful Moments’ was a collaborative project undertaken by the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the Behavioural Health Program at Hamilton Health Sciences that sought to develop and implement a program of arts-based activities for persons in the middle-to-late stages of dementia who exhibit behavioural symptoms and for their accompanying care partners.
This pilot study employed a qualitative descriptive design. Eight participants were observed during multiple art sessions to evaluate their level of engagement in the program. Care partners also completed a questionnaire describing their experience. Qualitative content analysis was used to identify themes.
For program participants, factors that promoted continued interest and engagement in art included: care partner involvement, group activities, opportunities to share opinions, validation of their personhood, and increased engagement over time. Care partners observed improvements in participants’ creativity, communication, relationship forming, and task accomplishment, and some reported reduced stress.
‘Artful Moments’ promoted engagement and expression in persons in the middle-to-late stages of dementia, as well as having benefits for their care partners. Limitations of the study included a small convenience sample drawn from one hospital setting.
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