Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Arts and dementia

December 2 2016

Research shows that taking part in arts and culture can have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Creative activity has been shown to be valuable for many people living with dementia and facing the associated problems of isolation and depression. It can be relaxing and enjoyable for both the person living with dementia as well as those supporting them.

There are many opportunities for taking part in arts and culture, both out in the community and at home. Many venues such as art galleries, museums, theatres and cinemas are working to become dementia friendly and some offer programmes of dementia-friendly activity.

Useful resources

Active Minds

Active Minds have designed a series of unique art activities specifically for people with dementia. Perfect for anyone with a creative mind.

Arts Council England – How arts and cultural projects are proving life doesn’t end when Dementia begins

A look at some of the projects the Arts Council funds across England which give people living with dementia opportunities to take part in great artistic and cultural experiences, or which are helping us understand the impact of dementia on people’s lives.

The arts and dementia

Find out more about darts’ (Doncaster Community Arts) passion for working with people with dementia and their carers, using different art forms to engage and encourage them to participate and contribute to their own creative experience.

Becoming a Dementia Friendly Arts Venue – a practical guide

A how-to guide detailing ways in which arts venues can make their facilities and services more accommodating for people affected by dementia.

Creative Activity Workbook

Aberdeenshire Council’s Creative Activity Workbook, designed to encourage creativity in people living with dementia and those who support them. Find an activity for each week of the year in an easy to follow recipe format.

Memory Bank – Unlocking memories through archive film

Developed by the Yorkshire Film Archive, Memory Bank is a series of innovative DVD resource packs using archive films to bring past events and experiences to life, prompting stories and memories to share and enjoy.

Playlist for Life

Being able to respond to music is the one thing dementia cannot destroy. Playlist for Life encourages families and caregivers to create a playlist of personally meaningful music on an iPod for people with dementia.

The Reading Agency – Books on Prescription

The Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia scheme is available in public libraries as part of a national library strategy to support the development of dementia-friendly communities and build understanding and awareness.

Reawakening the Mind Report

This report brings together research undertaken as part of Arts 4 Dementia’s landmark pilot, London Arts Challenge (LAC) which was awarded the London 2012’s Inspire mark. A downloadable Toolkit for Education Officers also offers useful information for workshop leaders, including best practice project tips, challenges and resolutions, model contact and evaluation forms.

Leeds Playhouse – Dementia Friendly Performances

Find an outline of Leeds Playhouse’s award-winning work with people living with dementia as well as resources to help theatre venues become more dementia friendly.

The value of arts and culture to people and society

Report from Arts Council England presenting the latest research on the impact and value of arts and culture on the economy, health and well-being, society and education.

Groups, venues and activities

Singing for the Brain – Charles Court

Singing for the Brain brings people together in a friendly fun and social environment. Based around the principles of music therapy the stimulating sessions include vocal warm-ups and singing a wide variety of familiar and new songs.

A: Charles Court, Charles Crescent, Armthorpe, Doncaster, DN3 2AQ
T: 01709 580543

Singing for Memory

Friendly, fun and supportive singing sessions for people in the early to moderate stages of dementia and those who support them. Join Janet Wood and sing a variety of familiar and new songs.

A: The Point, 16 South Parade, Doncaster, DN1 2DR
T: Sophie Regan – 01302 558043/ 01302 341662

In the Moment

2nd and 4th Monday of the month, 1.30 – 3.30pm @ The Point

Creative activities for adults living with dementia and their companions. Join our friendly and inclusive sessions where you can enjoy making music, creating new stories and meeting new friends. Sessions are free.

Tuesdays to 17th December 2019, 10am – 12pm @ Doncaster Museum – History, Health and Happiness

Come and join us for fun art sessions where we will use objects and stories from the Museum to create exciting new art work. Parking at Doncaster Museum is free for these sessions and we will provide tea and biscuits for everyone. Sessions are free.

Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery

Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery displays important collections of natural history, archaeology, local history, fine and decorative art. There is also a large and varied temporary exhibition programme throughout the year, as well as special activities for all ages.

A: Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, Chequer Road, Doncaster, DN1 2AE
T: 01302 734293

South Yorkshire Dementia Creative Arts Exhibition

Annual creative arts exhibition open to all. The main aim of the exhibition is to offer members of South Yorkshire’s dementia community an opportunity to showcase their talents and share their experiences of life with dementia.


Arts 4 Dementia

Arts 4 Dementia signposts people to workshops, performances, courses & opportunities for people in the early stages of dementia and carers nationwide. They also liaise with arts organisations, education departments, memory services care teams and others to help set up and facilitate creative projects at arts venues, for people living with dementia and those who support them.

A: The Music Base, King’s Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG
T: 020 7520 1492

Creative Dementia Arts Network

Creative Dementia Arts Network promotes the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia through creative arts, sharing news, resources and opportunities and facilitating access to creative arts and dementia care research.

A: 53 Oakthorpe Road, Oxford, OX2 7BD
T: 07801 509993


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