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Art workshops for dementia patients guide released

Artists who work with people with dementia can access a handy guide to the condition, thanks to the efforts of a nurse expert.
Art therapy for older patients

Nurses who supervise art workshops for patients with dementia can access a new guide to ensure these events run smoothly.

The resource aims to provide a greater understanding of the condition to staff, including care workers, who oversee the sessions in care homes and hospitals. Participating artists can also benefit from the guide.

Dementia nurse expert June Andrews conducted workshops with poets, painters and performers to create the publication, A guide to supporting people with dementia through the arts.

Safe and well managed

Professor Andrews said: Nurses and care assistants working care home settings and also hospital settings are often excited to be involved with art projects, but they may not have the experience or knowledge to make sure that the

Nurses who supervise art workshops for patients with dementia can access a new guide to ensure these events run smoothly.


The nurse support resource – A guide to supporting people with demential through the arts – imparts practical information. Picture: iStock

The resource aims to provide a greater understanding of the condition to staff, including care workers, who oversee the sessions in care homes and hospitals. Participating artists can also benefit from the guide.

Dementia nurse expert June Andrews conducted workshops with poets, painters and performers to create the publication, A guide to supporting people with dementia through the arts.

‘Safe and well managed’

Professor Andrews said: ‘Nurses and care assistants working care home settings and also hospital settings are often excited to be involved with art projects, but they may not have the experience or knowledge to make sure that the process is safe and well managed.

‘Artists have also said they need something which helped them grow their confidence and knowledge based on what works.

‘As well as explaining how people with dementia may behave, this resource also gives practical information, such as explaining who owns the intellectual property produced during artistic workshops.’

Advice and tips

Among other tips available to nurses surpervising or running art workshops and events are:

  • Advice on creating a written explanation so that patients, carers and staff understand who and what it will involve
  • Reminders to check insurance cover and cost of hiring or buying any necessary materials
  • How to handle patients who may not wish to partake in the activities on offer

The information covers all the main fields of art and can be adapted to different situations at home, in a care setting or in other public spaces, such as when staff accompany residents or patients to a museum or concert.

The project was funded through the Dementia Services Development Trust, the charity to which Professor Andrews is an advisor.

Futher information

Download the pack here  (Hard copies will be available to order soon)


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