Art programs encourage socializing for dementia patients in Canada


June 27, 2011

The Alzheimer's Society in Waterloo, Canada, offers an art program for individuals who are in the early stages of dementia and their caregivers, according to The Record. Gather at the Gallery takes participants to local museums and art galleries, as well as giving them a chance to create their own art.

Cara Dowhaniuk, one of the coordinators of Gather at the Gallery, said that many people isolate themselves after they are diagnosed with dementia, but the art program is one of many that the Alzheimer's Society is initiating to encourage dementia patients to feel comfortable outside of their homes and with other people.

Spending a lot of time alone can be dangerous for dementia patients. Memory loss and difficulty with coordination, which can increase the risk of injury, are symptoms of the early stages of dementia and they only grow worse as the disease advances, states If an elderly individual does fall or otherwise injure themselves, a senior alert system can connect them to an elderly alert responder who can assist them with receiving medical attention. Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York recently reported that reduced cognitive ability due to dementia can directly affect a person's ability to walk.

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