Appleby House has joined forces with local dementia awareness groups to transform the lives of residents living with dementia.
The home has collaborated with local dementia awareness group, Purple Angels, and art session group, Creative Minds, to provide residents with innovative artistic and musical activities with therapeutic benefits.
Residents Judy Grevitt and Barbara Grain live with Alzheimer’s disease, which can make recalling recent events or learning new information difficult. Creative art therapy, such as painting, dancing, or crafts, can be incredibly beneficial for those struggling with memory loss, as well as helping to improve motor skills, relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety, and increase self-esteem and confidence.
Appleby House’s artist-in-residence, Kim Whelton from Creative Minds, noticed how enthusiastic Judy was when participating in the home’s regular art classes. The tactile nature of the art materials, such as mod-roc and oil paint, can encourage those living with Alzheimer’s to engage with the people around them. Recently, Judy has helped create the ‘Tree of Life’, which is in the main corridor for everyone to enjoy and has become her favourite place to sit every day. She is now working on an under-the-sea art installation, featuring ‘Sam’ the turtle.
Close friends of Judy commented that they have never seen her as happy as she has been since the art sessions began, and that the Care UK team have made a huge difference to her wellbeing.
Barbara had been a lifelong lover of music. After discovering she was living with Alzheimer’s, Barbara became extremely anxious and often frightened. The team worked together with Purple Angels to create mp3 players with bespoke playlists featuring residents’ favourite songs.
Trials have found that while listening to music, people are able to recall where they heard that particular song and even what they were doing at the time.
Barbara found a new lease of life when she was gifted her mp3 player, and is often found tapping her feet to ABBA and singing along to Neil Diamond.
Cathy Scrine, daughter of Barbara, commented: “We are delighted to see our Mum enjoying life at Appleby House. Her diagnosis took a toll on her wellbeing and we’re over the moon to see her back to her happy self. Mum loves listening to her mp3 player – it almost instantly changes her anxious mood into one of contentment and ease. We can’t thank the Care UK team enough for providing activities that truly benefit the wellbeing and happiness of our Mum.”
Home manager at Appleby House, Shona Bradbury, said: “Participating in creative activities can have significant benefits for those living with dementia. It’s incredible to see the positive impact music and art can have on someone’s mental health. Judy is so proud of her artwork, and Barbara is always singing her favourite songs. Creating a piece of art, or listening to music, can tap into powerful emotions, empower those living with dementia and encourage engagement with those around them.
“Activity based care is central to Appleby House’s ethos, and it’s fantastic to be able to collaborate with likeminded community groups, such as Creative Minds and Purple Angels, to create stimulating and engaging activities for residents to enjoy. The art projects and personalised mp3 players have been a huge success – we’re thrilled to be able to see the residents’ creative juices flowing and the positive effects it is having on everyone.”