Music, art therapy programs for people living with dementia

 In Community

The Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County (ASSC) is leading the way with music and art therapy programs for people living with dementia.
ASSC is currently offering two programs that are music based, and is very pleased to announce the addition of Creative Connections, a new program beginning March 2 in partnership with Quest Art School and Gallery.
Creative Connections will provide people with dementia the opportunity to explore their artistic talent using a variety of art forms including painting, crafting and reflective journalling.
“Quest Art believes strongly in the power of art as a means of creating connections and we are very happy to be partnering with ASSC to provide this program, especially at a time when many people are dealing with isolation,” says Victoria Eichorn, Executive Director and Curator, Quest Art. “Quest Art advocates for the many benefits that art provides for individuals spanning all ages and abilities. We recognize the significance of art as an important means of social engagement and connection, providing benefits that affect individuals mentally, emotionally and physically,” says Eichhorn.
The Alzheimer Society Music Project reconnects people with the soundtrack of their lives by providing music players loaded with personalized music to people living with dementia.
Listening to personalized music can be a powerful activity for those with dementia: music has the potential to increase physical and social activity; reignite older memories; and improve sleep, mood, cognition, communication, and overall quality of life. Visit musicproject.ca to apply.
Musical Memories provides online music sessions for people living with dementia and their care partners. This program is offered in partnership with Music Therapy Services of Simcoe County (MTSSC) where participants receive a small percussive instrument to use while playing music with friends, family and care partners. 
MTSSC owner and director Heidi Flynn says, “We are so happy to be partnering with the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County to connect seniors in our community with music. These online group sessions have offered participants the opportunity to express themselves, engage with others socially and experience feelings of wellness.”
Sessions will run through March 24.
“The Musical Memories program fills up very quickly and we expect the same for Creative Connections. Music and Art programs provide opportunities for people living with dementia to connect with others and express themselves. During a time when contact with others is limited, these types of programs can help to enrich their lives, boost mood and self-esteem,” says Laura-Lynn Bourassa, ASSC Manager of Education and Support Programs.
“Many of our clients say that our Music Project and the Musical Memories program provide peace and calm while navigating the symptoms of dementia,” says Bourassa.
All programs offered by the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County are free of charge with a wide range of services being offered to people living with dementia, their care partners, friends and families and the community at large. 
Since the beginning of the pandemic in person programs have successfully transitioned to online sessions. 
For more information and registration for both programs, contact Taryl Bougie at 705-795-6259 or email taryl.bougie@alzheimer.ca. 

 

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