Meet Me at the Albany - and the 21st Century Tea Dance

In 2013, CDAN worked with the Albany and Entelechy Arts in Deptford, London on developing a model of mainstreaming arts and activities for older people including those with dementia as a counterpoint to segregated day centre care. The bid for Lewisham Community Cares funding was successful so that in 2014, a pioneering programme called Meet me at the Albany went live. Currently running at the theatre once a week, it offers a wide range of opportunities to engage in creative arts, socialise, and relax for a diverse group of people of different ages and abilities. www.meetmeatthealbany.org.uk

Entelechy Arts Little Boxes of Memory

Memory boxes have been used with people with dementia as prompts for recall and reminiscence across the world. Now they are almost standard items in care homes where residents, families and staff are usually involved in assembling the contents. These personalised boxes are often mounted on or at the side of residents’ bedroom doors providing a cue for those who may find it difficult to differentiate their bedroom door from the others along the corridor and to stimulate conversation with staff and with families.

Lights Up Project

Rural areas of the UK present challenges for the delivery of dementia services and creative arts to people with dementia. However a partnership group led by Hannah Cervenka, it was set up by me as Arts & Leisure Development Manager at West Oxfordshire District Council, has set up a pilot creative arts service model that brings together health, social care and housing resources and a key local cultural institution. Guideposts Trust, Age UK, Cottsway Housing, and Young Dementia UK, already work with people with dementia living in and around the West Oxfordshire market town of Chipping Norton. All were enthusiastic in running an arts and memory club with local artists offering workshops for individuals and their carers.

Lost in Time and Space

Creative Dementia Arts Network worked with Modern Art Oxford towards the successful completion and dissemination of the Lost in Time and Space (LITAS) project. LITAS is led by Modern Art Oxford (MAO) one of South England’s leading galleries for modern and contemporary art that also facilitates community focused activities, including workshops for families and partnerships with schools, while promoting work in Oxford’s most socially marginalised communities.

Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

As 2010 Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Karin Diamond spent four weeks in Japan working with Dr Uchide and her art therapeutic person-centred dementia care. In learning about theatre and memory work, what she found first hand was the importance of intercultural exchange when it comes to best practice, and the benefits of holistic care that respects personhood, as is emerging in Japan. With a population of 2.3million older people with dementia, Japanese society in many ways foreshadows the aging populations of the west, rendering the innovation of local care practitioners a source of inspiration we cannot afford to ignore.