The University of Stirling is supporting the development of an innovative activity toolkit to encourage creative activities among people living with dementia.
The toolkit, developed by Artlink Central, a charity that offers artist-led participatory programmes to support people from disadvantaged groups, is an artist-designed group activity kit.
The creative activity pack is designed for use by staff in day care centres and residential care settings to support people with dementia by prompting conversation and reminiscence. The theme of the first toolkit is ‘gardens’ and it provides eight topics around the theme which will prompt conversation and activities such as: drawing, colouring, collage, planting bulbs and designing an ideal garden. Users will be able to draw, colour in and spark conversation using themed cards. Artlink Central also plan to develop further kits around popular themes such as food, sports, music and movies.
Lead Researcher, Dr Jane Robertson, Lecturer in Dementia Studies at the University of Stirling, said:
“The toolkit aims to bring a number of benefits to people living with dementia by encouraging constructive conversations on a range of topics, engaging with personal histories and building social connections in care centres.
“With Dr Vikki McCall, Lecturer in Social Policy and Housing, and working in partnership with Artlink Central, we will be evaluating these intended benefits through funding we have been awarded by the Scottish Funding Council’s Innovation Voucher Scheme. We’ll assess whether the toolkit delivers in these key areas and recommend how the product can be enhanced to ensure we achieve the best possible results for people living with dementia. We will be partnering with local organisations to test the toolkit in day care centres and residential care homes.
"It’s hoped that the toolkit will be rolled out across the UK health and social care sector this summer and help strengthen the relationship between the arts, health and care sectors.”
The Scottish Funding Council’s Innovation Voucher Scheme provides an opportunity for Scottish small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to work with academic experts to help solve problems that may help expand their company and offer solutions which cannot be obtained commercially.
The toolkit is currently being evaluated so that it can be enhanced ahead of its launch at the British Society of Gerontology conference in July 2016, which the University of Stirling is hosting