Social Prescribing to Arts for the Dementias
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Driving forward social prescribing as peri-diagnostic practice
To address issues arising from Arts 4 Dementia’s 2019 social prescribing conference, we commissioned “D-IAGNOSIS! Arts to Preserve Wellbeing” by the art activist Jane Frere at Tate Exchange in January 2020 as our campaign picture to help advance social prescribing to weekly arts as peri-diagnostic practice for dementia. The picture was to hang at UK museums to set up social prescribing links for dementia to reduce the trauma of diagnosis and enable people to override symptoms through weekly arts prescriptions – dynamic, effective, re-energising programmes at arts venues.
D-IAGNOSIS! on TOUR
Now that every GP has access to NHS link workers, who can empower patients to choose their rehabilitative social prescription, Arts 4 Dementia held meetings gathering together leaders in academia, social prescribing, culture, health and wellbeing in every NHS region. The idea is that if GPs to refer patients link workers to choose weekly arts programmes early in the diagnostic process, by sharing cultural interests, learning new skills, the shock of diagnosis will be less, as they co-create dance, drama performances, discuss and create art, despite dementia, they can preserve identity and enjoy life in the community for longer.
Arts 4 Dementia brought together leaders in culture, health and wellbeing, GP clinical and social prescribing leads, memory services, link workers and community connectors to connect those involved and drive forward social prescribing as pre-diagnostic practice for dementia. D-IAGNOSIS! hung at
|CANTERBURY: The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge||Thu, 16 January, 1.30-4pm. Programme here|
|BATH: The Holburne Museum||Thu, 27 February, 2-4 pm. Programme here|
|LONDON: The Wallace Collection, National Social Prescribing Day||Thu, 12 March, 3-5 pm|
During the pandemic, encouraged museum partnerships for Zoom meetings:
|OXFORD: hosted by Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology, Age of Creativity Festival||Wed, 6 May, 2-4 pm|
|SOUTH-EAST, HAMPSHIRE: hosted by St Barbe Museum||Wed, 17 June, 2-4.30 pm|
|SOUTH-WEST, DEVON: hosted by Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter||Wed, 29 July, 2-4.30 pm|
|NORTH-WEST, GREATER MANCHESTER: hosted by Manchester Museum||Thu, 3 September, 2-5 pm|
|NORTH-EAST, TYNE & WEAR, NEWCASTLE, hosted by Equal Arts & Tyne & Wear Museums||Thu, 24 September, 2-5 pm|
|YORKSHIRE & HUMBER, hosted by Leeds Museums & Galleries||Wed, 21 October, 2-5pm|
|WEST MIDLANDS, hosted by Birmingham Museums||Wed, 4 November, 2-5 pm|
|EAST MIDLANDS, hosted by Nottingham Contemporary||Thu, 26 November, 2-5 pm|
|EAST OF ENGLAND, CAMBRIDGE, hosted by The Fitzwilliam Museum
SCOTLAND: GLASGOW: Hosted by Scottish Opera
|Mon, 7 December, 2-5 pm
Mon 15 February 2021, 2-5 pm
Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Conference “Towards Social Prescribing (Arts & Heritage) for the Dementias”, Wellcome Collection, 16 May 2019
Arts 4 Dementia (A4D) held the first UK conference on social prescribing for the dementias at The Wellcome Collection in London on Thursday 16 May, with a key policy debate and presentations by leaders in social prescribing, arts for health and social care, to drive forward direction to arts on diagnosis.
[Conference presentations are available below – please request presenters’ permission if you wish to use their material.]
This year over 200,000 people are expected to develop a dementia – one every three minutes. There is no cure, but widespread evidence that engaging with arts and heritage helps protect against the risk of cognitive decline and empowers individuals and their carers to override anxieties caused by dementia, develop new creative experiences, preserve speech and language skills and nurture resilience in the community, despite dementia.
On diagnosis of a dementia, people need direction to the arts to counteract loss and preserve cognitive function. Social prescribing (SP), whereby surgery case managers, health support workers and link workers encourage people to choose their own arts programmes, can achieve this. But the focus of social prescribing is rarely on dementia.
Although there is not yet a cure I believe we can do more to improve the lives of people with the condition. We can and should harness the incredible power of the arts and social activities to help people cope better with symptoms and stay connected to their communities. This is the kind of good-value, easy-to-use social prescription that I’m fully behind, helping to achieve a shirt to more person-centred care as part of our NHS Long Term Plan.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock
“Towards Social Prescribing (Arts & Heritage) for the Dementias” looked at the evidence, the process and impact of SP arts as non-pharmaceutical interventions for the dementias and how this can be measured.
- Keynote speeches by Dr Michael Dixon OBE GP, National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription, NHS England and Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network and Baroness Greengross, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, led to the health and social care plenary debate to steer the drive for SP for dementia as universal post-diagnostic support.
- Presentations from surgery linkworker to prescribed arts programmes, outlining the process, were followed by cultural companion training and launch of a volunteer creative companion consortium, ArtsPAL.
SURVEY: Your responses – even if you yourself did not attend the conference – will be much valued, to help spread social prescribing and creative befriending for the dementias. Click here to complete.
Veronica Franklin Gould, Arts 4 Dementia, introduces the social prescribing conference for dementia and creative befriender consortium, ArtsPAL
MORNING SESSIONS chaired by Alexandra Coulter, Chair, Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance
- Christine Maddocks, environmentalist and former police officer, living with Young Onset Dementia.
- Dr Daisy Fancourt, Senior Research Fellow / Wellcome Research Fellow, Research Dept of Behavioural Science & Health, University College London, “Arts, cultural engagement, cognition and dementia“.
- Professor Sebastian Crutch, Professor of Neuropsychology, Dementia Research Centre, University College London, “Implications for social prescribing of the lived experiences of people with rarer dementias“.
KEYNOTE SPEECH Baroness Greengross, Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia
PLENARY DEBATE chaired by Dr Marie Polley, Co-Chair Social Prescribing Network
- Dr Charles Alessi, Dementia Lead, Public Health England
- Dr Michael Dixon OBE GP National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription, Chair, College of Medicine.
- Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England
- James Sanderson, Director Personalised Care Group, NHS England
- Georgia Chimbani, Dementia Lead, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)
- Ian McCreath, Personalisation Lead, Alzheimer’s Society
- Dr Richard Ings, Arts in Health Arts in Health, Wellbeing and Criminal Justice lead, Arts Council England
ARTS FOR EARLY-STAGE DEMENTIA Chaired by Dr Trish Vella-Burrows, Principal Research Fellow, Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts & Health, Canterbury Christ Church University
- Dr Sophia Hulbert, Neurophysiotherapist, Pavilion Dance South West “(A4D) Reawakening’s Project: Dance for Dementia at Pavilion Dance South West“.
- Gemma Dixon, Director, Music for Memory, “(A4D) Choir and Organ at St Peter’s, Bournemouth“.
- Grace Meadows, Programme Director, The Utley Foundation “Music for Dementia 2020“.
- Lucy Wells, Communities Education Manager, Southbank, and Nick Makoha, poet, “(A4D) Poetry for dementia at the National Poetry Library”.
SOCIAL PRESCRIBING (ARTS & HERITAGE) FOR DEMENTIA MODELS OF PRACTICE, PARTNERSHIPS, CREATIVE COMPANIONS & TRAINING chaired by Wendy Gallagher
- Nicky Taylor, Theatre and Dementia Research Associate, Leeds Playhouse, with recorded message from Deborah Marshall, Peer Support Co-Ordinator, Leeds City Council. “I see land ahead. Life goes on… Theatre, dementia and hope at Leeds Playhouse.“
- Dr Richard Hooker, Clinical Lead and Paula Morrell, Health & Social Care Assistant, My Care My Way, Kalwant Sahota, Self-Care and Third Sector Commissioning Development Manager, NHS West London CCG, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, “My Care My Way“; with Kathryn Gilfoy, Director of Resonate Arts and Emma Nutland, Projects Manager, “Resonate Arts: Creative Wellbeing for People Living with a Dementia”.
- Wendy Gallagher, Head of Learning & Engagement, Manchester Museum, Arts & Health Partnership Manager, The Whitworth and Manchester Museum. “Beyond Dementia“.
- Kate Parkin, Creative Age Programme Manager, Equal Arts, “How can Social Prescribing enhance the lives of older adults?“.
- Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Founder & Chair, NHS England Social Prescribing Student Champion Scheme, “Harnessing the Untapped Potential of the Younger Generation“.
- Professor Helen Chatterjee MBE, Head of Research and Teaching at UCL Culture and Professor of Biology, University College London. “Museums on Prescription: The bio-psychosocial impact of museum participation for isolated and lonely older adults“.
- Nigel Franklin, Chief Executive, Arts 4 Dementia. “Find your local arts opportunities for dementia and post your arts events for dementia on www.arts4dementia.org.uk“.