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New dementia activity kit to launch at the University

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Dr Jane Robertson
Dr Jane Robertson, Lecturer in Dementia Studies at the University of Stirling

A new social enterprise, Creating Conversations, is launching an innovative activity kit at the University of Stirling 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. Dr Jane Robertson and Dr Vikki McCall at the University of Stirling have supported the development of the product through an innovation voucher funded by the Scottish Funding Council.

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 kit 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:

“We are delighted to support the launch of the toolkit at the University and hope that it will be rolled out across the UK health and social care sector this summer to bring a number of benefits to people living with dementia.  

“Our research has shown that the toolkit, Creating Conversations: Gardening, has the potential to help people with dementia by; encouraging reminiscence, increasing confidence, reducing anxiety, supporting positive social connections and providing opportunities to engage in enjoyable and purposeful activities as evidenced through our observations.”

Join researchers at Macrobert Arts Centre for an exhibition telling the story of the product and its development on 11 July at 10.30-12am. Hear from speakers who have been instrumental in designing, testing and evaluating the use of the kit in care homes and day care settings in Central Scotland.

For more information about the event please click here.

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