Dementia costs the UK approximately £26.3 billion a year and accounts for 40% of acute medical admissions in people over the age of 70 years and 25% of hospital use. A significant proportion of costs are hidden by the work of family carers supporting people at home.
Studies have shown that participation in arts, cultural and heritage activities can significantly improve your health and wellbeing, maintain your independence, reduce social isolation and improve quality of life, whilst delaying the onset of dementia.
“Arts can help people to stay well, recover faster, manage long-term conditions and experience a better quality of life.”
Arts can make a powerful contribution to our mental health. Arts and crafts can lead to increased concentration, heightened self-esteem, and inspire positive feelings. Art has been shown to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, no matter a person’s skill level. The very simple act of creating art is enough to reduce stress and alleviate anxiety and depression, stabilise emotions and stimulate the senses.
Arts can diminish dementia and help with greater recall. A 2-year inquiry launched by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health, and Wellbeing found that “visual arts, music, dance, digital creativity, and other cultural activities can help to delay the onset of dementia and diminish its severity.” Creating art has been shown to stimulate brain plasticity and create new connections between brain cells. Dementia erodes neural pathways in the brain, which is what leads to loss of information storage. Creating art can stimulate the creation of new neural pathways, which allow for information storage and recall.
Arts can help to improve memory and enhance cognition. Studies by Dr Arnold Bresky and Diane Waller at the University of London have observed cognitive and psychological changes in dementia patients who attended weekly arts sessions then patients with dementia that attended other recreational activities
Arts can create a feeling of community. Withdrawal from social activity and society at large is a noticed behavioural change in people suffering from dementia. Music and art therapy allow them to re-connect and socialize with the people around them.
THEIR HEALTH & WELLBEING
IMPROVED THEIR MENTAL
DISPLAYED MEMORY IMPROVEMENT