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  • Writer's pictureLaina Watt

Artful Healing: Choosing the Best Artwork for Dementia Sufferers


Living with dementia presents numerous challenges, but incorporating art into the daily lives of individuals with this condition has proven to be a therapeutic and enriching experience. Choosing the right artwork can evoke memories, start conversations, stimulate cognitive functions, and create a calming environment for those living with dementia. In this blog post, we'll explore the types of artwork that are particularly beneficial for dementia sufferers.

 

1. Nature-Inspired Art

   Nature has a soothing effect on the mind, and this holds true for dementia patients. Artwork featuring serene landscapes, gentle seascapes, or vibrant floral scenes can transport individuals to a familiar and calming place. The use of soft, pastel colours and natural elements in these artworks can evoke positive emotions and memories. This type of art is ideal for calmer areas such as bedrooms and lounges.


Nature art for care homes and dementia wards
Art for Care Homes

 

2. Personalized Artwork

   Personalized artwork, such as family photos or artwork created by the individuals themselves, can provide a sense of familiarity and connection. These pieces serve as visual reminders of loved ones, special occasions, and personal achievements, fostering a comforting and secure atmosphere.

 

3. Abstract Artwork

 

Some studies advise against abstract artworks as they can cause frustration for dementia sufferers as they are difficult to interpret. Images that are easy to understand such as a person fishing in a lake are possibly a better option.

 


Framed Art Prints for Private Care Homes and Hospitals NHS UK
Framed Art for Care Homes

4. Use Art as a Signpost

 

Artwork can serve as a useful navigation tool throughout a facility and can help residents and visitors to find their way around. For example, certain areas could have a theme, for example, seascapes along a corridor to a wash room or still life paintings featuring food could signal the way to a dining area. Variations of colour in different areas in both artworks and wall colours can also be useful in this respect.


Framed Artwork for NHS Hospitals and care homes England
Art for Hospitals and Care Homes NHS


5. Contrast and Visibility

   Opt for artwork with clear and easily distinguishable images. High contrast and bold colours can improve visibility for individuals with visual impairments or cognitive challenges and provide positive stimulation. Choose pieces that are easily recognizable and avoid complex or intricate designs that may be confusing. At the same time, research suggests that bright colours can cause over-stimulation and can make it difficult for people to concentrate so it is important to think carefully about the areas where such artworks are placed. This type of artwork works best in daytime areas where you want to provide more stimulating visuals.

It is also good to frame pictures so that they are easily identifiable as artworks. Frames should be of a contrasting colour to the picture and the wall (black frames are ideal). Recent studies have concluded that dementia sufferers can become disorientated by paintings of realistic scenes of for example an open window leading onto a balcony or a life-sized mural of something like a telephone box.

 

Nostalgia

Make a strange place feel familiar with artwork that recalls the past. Some care homes are using retro images and décor that evokes the past, working on the principle that dementia sufferers often recall the past more vividly than the present. We have seen some great examples of interiors featuring juke boxes in communal areas, framed prints of retro street scenes and interesting objects such as old board games mounted in box frames.

 

Conclusion:

Selecting the right artwork for dementia sufferers is an art in itself. The goal is to create a supportive and enriching environment that promotes well-being and a sense of connection. Whether it's nature-inspired scenes, personalized creations, therapeutic activities, or a fusion of art and music, the key is to tailor the choices to the individual's preferences and experiences. Through thoughtful selection, art becomes a powerful tool in enhancing the quality of life for those navigating the challenges of dementia.

The Fine Art Company has over twenty years' experience working alongside both public and private care homes and NHS hospitals to supply the ideal artwork for the brief. If you would like advise on your project please don't hesitate to drop us a line at enquiries@thefineartcompany.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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