Fayette County

Research participants with dementia sought for visual arts study

The U.S. Alzheimer’s Disease Centers has awarded Allan Richards and Ann Christianson of the UK School of Art and Visual Studies a grant to study the effects of visual arts activities on quality of life for people with mild to moderate dementia and their caregivers.

The grant will allow the research duo to implement an eight-week program in which groups of 12 (six people with dementia and their partner caregivers) will participate in various visual arts activities, including painting, sculpture or watching slide-show movies.

“Our study is focused on providing mentally stimulating and enriching activities in the visual arts for the elderly with dementia in order to engage cognitive processes, emotions, and motor skills, perhaps slowing cognitive decline and improving quality of life,” Richards said.

The study will begin in mid-February and will be once a week on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday at the newly renovated School of Art and Visual Studies Building at 236 Bolivar Street. Each session will last for about an hour and a half. All art supplies are free to study participants and free handicapped-accessible parking is available next to the building.

For more information about the study or to see whether you are eligible, call Richards at (859) 361-1483 or Christianson at (859) 312-4553.