Why is this research needed?
Maintaining quality of life and well being are crucial for people with dementia and their carers
There has been an upsurge in interest in the positive effects engagement in the arts can have for people with dementia and the communities around them
This can help change awareness and understanding about dementia, to enable people to 'live well' in dementia supportive communities ' as a normal part of everyday life
So this research aims to explore how the vision for dementia supportive communities might benefit from creative activities.
What is different about this research?
A number of research studies have identified the benefits of creative engagement in art programmes for people with dementia. These include quality of life, well being, cognitive and communication benefits. However, these studies usually had three limitations:
Often reliant on case studies, which have both strengths and weaknesses as evidence
Focused on the outcomes for individuals rather than communities
Not demonstrating the wider economic and social value of arts interventions
This research project aims to address all three areas ' by using robust methodology, to consider the outcomes for communities as well as individuals, and demonstrate the wider economic and social value of art interventions.
Another major strength is that the research crosses traditional boundaries and draws on expertise from arts, humanities, health and social sciences.
It looks at how participation in community arts interventions can increase well-being and connectedness between the dementia community and wider society. It also examines the underlying processes that create the connection between arts participation and positive outcomes.