Participatory Arts Course for Formal Caregivers of People with Dementia

Award Date: 2018

Project Lead(s): Merav Gilboa, Creative Arts Worker

Project Title: Participatory Art Course for Formal Caregivers and Persons with Dementia

What is the issue?

Formal caregivers are professional care workers who are paid to provide care to others. If they do not have enough support or knowledge to deal with the challenges of providing care to people with dementia, they may become stressed and isolated, resulting in burnout.

What did we do?

We developed an education course that taught formal caregivers how to engage older adults with dementia in art activities. The course included a kit containing high-quality art supplies appropriate for older adults with dementia. A manual with photographs explained ten different activities. The course took place for one hour per week over eight weeks.

What did we find?

Caregivers benefitted from the course and appreciated the opportunity to learn new skills and dementia care strategies. They also valued building relationships and mutual support with their peers. Caregivers reported a higher number of coping methods for managing stress.