Facilitating creativity in dementia care: the co-construction of arts-based engagement



Robertson JM & McCall V (2020) Facilitating creativity in dementia care: the co-construction of arts-based engagement. Ageing and Society, 40 (6), pp. 1155-1174.

This paper seeks to understand the engagement of people with dementia in creative and arts-based activities by applying a relational model of citizenship and incorporating concepts of contextual and embodied learning from adult learning theory. A theoretically-driven secondary analysis of observational and interview data focuses on the engagement of staff, volunteers and people with dementia during an arts-based intervention in a day centre and care home. The processes through which learning is co-constructed between the person with dementia, staff/volunteer facilitators and peers in the group to co-produce a creative engaged experience involves: increasing confidence for learning, facilitating social and physical connections, and affirming creative self-expression. The role of facilitator is central to the process of creative engagement to reinforce a sense of agency amongst participants and recognise people’s prior experiences of learning and engagement in creative activities. People with dementia continue to learn and grow through engagement in creative activities to produce positive outcomes for the individual participants and for the care staff who observe and participate in this creativity. Facilitating creativity requires attention to lifelong experiences of learning in addition to the immediate interactional context to successfully integrate arts-based interventions in dementia care.

adult learning; arts; creativity; dementia care; engagement; participation; relationships; social interaction

Ageing and Society: Volume 40, Issue 6

FundersScottish Funding Council
Publication date30/06/2020
Publication date online05/12/2018
Date accepted by journal30/10/2018

People (1)


Professor Vikki McCall

Professor Vikki McCall

Professor of Social Policy, Housing Studies