The U.S. Alzheimer’s Disease Centers is overseeing the second round of a study exploring the effects of visual arts activities on the quality of life for people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers. The study is accepting participants for this session, which begins Sept. 10.
Led by researchers Allan Richards and Ann Christianson of the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies, this eight-week program will include groups of 12 (six people with dementia and their partner caregivers) who will participate in visual arts activities, including painting, sculpture or collage.
“Our study is focused on providing mentally stimulating and enriching activities in the visual arts for persons with dementia in order to engage cognitive processes, emotions and motor skills, perhaps slowing cognitive decline and improving quality of life,” Richards said.
Participants in the first round found the program to be a success. “The spring program was lots of fun for everyone involved. The participants enjoyed creating beautiful works of art. Many expressed a desire to continue pursuing art projects past the duration of the program,” Christianson said.
The study will be held once a week on Saturday or Sunday at the UK Art and Visual Studies Building, 236 Bolivar Street. Each session will last 90 minutes. All art supplies are free, and free handicapped-accessible parking is available next to the building.