Individuals living with dementia are often isolated and the diagnosis hidden because of the stigma and fear associated with their diagnosis.

The belief that nothing can be done to help a person living with dementia adds to feelings of frustration and hopelessness.

Arts participation has the potential to break down the isolation and reduce social stigma associated with the diagnosis of dementia.

The article Arts Participation: Counterbalancing Forces to the Social Stigma of a Dementia Diagnosis talks about some unique programs that strive to maintain community and social engagement and support individuals living with dementia to live their lives well. Not only does it help the wider community interact with recent dementia sufferers, but it also gives the individual a sense of purpose and an ability to feel like they are contributing to their community in some way. By working alongside the wider community in pursue of an artistic goal, individuals can better understand the individuals who suffer from the diagnosis.

“Programs like Meet at the MOMA have created an opportunity for individuals to take in the arts while interacting with others in a safe space. The focus is on the art and not purely on the diagnosis of the individual. Developed by MoMA’s education department, this innovative program takes advantage of the museum’s quiet times to bring together trained museum educators and people with dementia and their caregivers to explore great works of art, such as Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, from their collection.” 

If you’re interested in implementing your own art program for dementia sufferers, download our infographic:

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