Due to COVID-19, Arts Fusion Programs are not being held in person.
The mission of Arts Fusion is to create an environment through the arts that promotes creative expression, interpersonal connections, and enjoyment for persons with dementia. With an innovative approach that integrates, or “fuses,” a variety of art forms, the program serves participants from diverse backgrounds and at all stages of dementia. Arts Fusion also extends arts opportunities to caregivers and family members of those with memory loss as a way to reduce stress and reestablish connections with their loved ones.
Benefits of Creative Arts Programs in Dementia Care
Creative arts programs like Arts Fusion benefit persons with dementia and their caregivers in a number of important ways. Even when disease closes off usual pathways of communication, creativity through non-verbal means remains a valuable mode of expression. This is where the arts come in. They promote dialogue, focus attention, inspire creative interpretations, trigger long-term memories, provide a safe environment for expression, and give participants a voice among their peers and the community. Positive emotions that emerge while creating art, listening to music, or dancing linger beyond the time of the activity, even when participants may not recall the activity itself. Creative activities instill a sense of purpose and accomplishment, acknowledging physical and cognitive limitations while highlighting remaining abilities and strengths. They can be a powerful way for caregivers and their loved ones to connect with one another, share positive experiences, and find support in their communities.
Through a generous donation from the National Endowment for the Humanities, prints from the Picturing America series are now an integral part of our programs throughout the Central and Western Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.