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Published on: February 6, 2017
by Melissa McAlees for Care Home:
A national care provider is supporting pioneering artistic research that explores how the sense of touch can promote stimulation and emotional connection in dementia care.
Working in collaboration with leading arts collective, Invisible Flock, Community Integrated Care’s Green Heys Care Home in Merseyside has been selected to participate in the project called ‘Hold’.
The findings will form part of an upcoming exhibition at the Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool from 13 to 19 February.
Paula Spence, Community Integrated Care’s director of older people’s services, said: “Reminiscence is fundamental to promoting the well-being of people who live well with dementia. We fully support Invisible Flock’s exploration of how more interactive and engaging methods can benefit reminiscence activities.”
The sense of touch is extremely important, particularly during old age. It is thought that physical interaction is linked to the emotional and motivational systems of the brain which can trigger memories and reduce agitation.
The six-month programme, which began in August 2016, has seen artists and technology developers from Invisible Flock spend time with three Green Heys residents who live with dementia, as well as the important people in their lives, including their family members and care staff.
Through in-depth conversations and activity sessions they explored the different ways in which touch is personally important. They found that nostalgic photographs and traditional items that residents could touch and interact with promoted the most stimulation and emotional connection.
Invisible Flock have used this insight to develop innovative technological prototypes that explore the sensory experiences of people living with dementia.
The initial prototype – a unique augmented photograph album that can have personal memorable photographs and videos digitally projected onto it – will be on display at the exhibition.
Ms Spence added: “The people who live in our homes and their families were involved every step of the way, sharing their thoughts, memories and ideas and were delighted to see these brought to life in such an exciting way.
“Our charity is extremely proud to have taken part in such innovative and forward-thinking research and we look forward to revealing the very first dementia-related augmented photo album at the exhibition.”
Community Integrated Care support thousands of people across England and Scotland who have learning disabilities, mental health concerns, autism and age-related needs, including dementia.
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