Observing art and making art seems to make a difference. That's what we're hearing from studies of people with dementia and their carers in a number of different countries.
We want to find out whether art really can make a difference.
Can it improve quality of life and well being? Might it even have wider social and community benefits? And if it does make a difference, how does it do this - and why?
Dementia Friendly Community initiatives are springing up across the UK.
They aim to help people with dementia reconnect with their communities - instead of becoming increasingly isolated.
They also aim to challenge the stereotypes which limit the potential of people with dementia to enjoy and contribute to life in the community.
That's one reason why there's a strong community dimension to our project. We want to find out how and why art seems to help people with dementia. But we also want to explore the wider social and community implications.
The findings from this project are likely to be of interest to:
People with dementia and their families
Care staff and care homes
Commissioners of health and social care
Artists and arts organisations
That's why we've brought together a project team and project partners with an unusually wide range of experience and expertise. From gerontology to health economics, art to clinical psychology, and from universities, the NHS, local government, the voluntary sector, arts organisations and care homes.
If so, how does it do this?
And can it help people with dementia stay connected to their communities?
Can it help their communities become more dementia friendly?
Might there even be financial benefits for the UK?
We'll be looking at how art can make a difference for people with dementia living at home, being assessed by the NHS and living in care homes - and in three different parts of the UK.
Why Dementia Friendly Communities are needed and how they are developing
What we can learn from previous research into how the arts in general and art in particular can help people with dementia
Here we provide example of activities and events which explain and demonstrate the value of our reseach