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Creative Arts and Dementia

Whilst an array of organisations and practitioners currently use and develop creative therapies for people with dementia, they are rarely reported and are often not publicised. The Association for Dementia Studies has been laying the foundations for building research in this area.

Professor Dawn Brooker, Director of ADS, has a long-standing practice and research interest in creative activity and dementia. She worked in partnership with the ExtraCare Charitable Trust to develop the Enriched Opportunities Programme as a means of engaging people with dementia through activity and occupation (Brooker et al, 2007; 2011). This proved to significantly improve quality of life, decrease depression and decrease hospitalisations for people living with dementia.

Then, in early 2015, the Alzheimer’s Society funded eight Doctoral Training Centres in various aspects of dementia to help to increase research knowledge and capacity in this vital and TAnDem is the name of the Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) that has been funded to focus on studying The Arts and Dementia. This is a partnership between the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester and the Centre for Dementia, University of Nottingham and this topic was chosen because without greater knowledge and evidence about the arts and dementia, people living with dementia and their families cannot make informed choices. It is difficult for service providers and artists to help people with dementia and their carers to live well with dementia, as commissioners cannot justify expenditure on arts-as-interventions. The TAnDem PhD studentships are designed to remedy this gap in scientific knowledge and understanding. All of the proposed studentships will have a common focus on advancing knowledge about the impact of engagement with creative activities on people with all stages of dementia and on their family and professional carers. Please see the relevant webpages for details of students and topicssupervisors and management team. One unique aspect of TAnDem is that it offers the complementary resources of two universities to all the PhD candidates.

For details of other current and past research please go to the relevant tabs.

Other ADS staff engaged with this work are: