Creative arts for people with dementia


We recently discovered a brilliant article by the Social Care Institute for Excellence on the power of creative arts to help those with dementia.  From music and singing to poetry, painting and theatre, we know that creative activities can help older people on many levels, not least the positive mental health and social benefits.  At PillarCare we aim to help our service users not only enjoy independence and feel safe in their own homes, but help them to age smart, and age positively. 

Creative Arts for People with Dementia courtesy of Social Care Institute for Excellence

"Dementia can have a devastating effect on people’s cognitive abilities. Interestingly, however, the creative, imaginative and emotional parts of a person often remain relatively strong.

People with dementia can also lose some inhibition and therefore might feel more free to express themselves creatively and spontaneously.

There have been some wonderful developments in creative work with people with dementia in the past decade – these have shown how important it is to celebrate a person’s potential rather than always focus on problems and deficits."

Read the article in full at

Art for Alzheimer's: a new therapeutic approach


By Rob Sharp

In the 1990s, Berna Huebner was struggling to communicate with her mother, the painter Hilda Gorenstein, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. “I asked, ‘Mom, do you want to paint?’” says Huebner, who heads a Chicago charitable foundation. “And her eyes opened up and she said, ‘Yes, I remember better when I paint.’” Gorenstein, a marine artist who had once painted murals at a 1933–1934 Chicago World’s Fair, “wasn’t able to focus at all,” remembers Huebner. “I thought it was her hearing. I called her doctor, and without even blinking he said, ‘Why don't you call her old school and get some students to paint with her?’” Gorenstein subsequently began to paint with a handful of students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, her alma mater. After working with a student for several weeks she began to paint again. “It struck a chord,” adds Huebner.

Read the full article here

Scientists Identify First Sign Of Alzheimer's Disease


Article by Dana Dovey

Memory loss and cognitive decline are commonly thought to be the earliest signs of the neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's, but a new study has found declines in glucose levels in the brain come even sooner — before the first symptoms appear. Even better? The same team also believes they have figured out a way to stop these levels from falling in the first place, a finding that could potentially prevent Alzheimer's.

Although doctors have long noted the association between declining glucose levels in the brain and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, for the first time ever, a study now published online in the journal Translational Psychiatry has proved that these declining energy levels are a direct trigger for the cognitive impairments traditionally associated with the disease. According to a recent statement on the study, this may explain why diabetes, a condition in which glucose cannot enter the cells, is a known risk factor for dementia. According to the study, a protein known as p38 may be able to prevent this deprivation from occurring.

"The findings are very exciting," explained lead researcher Dr. Domenico Praticò in a statement. "There is now a lot of evidence to suggest that p38 is involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease."

Read the full article here

Dementia diaries improve confidence for those living with dementia

Courtesy of Care Industry News -

Recording regular audio diaries can improve the confidence of those living with dementia and help to reduce stigma attached to the condition, according to researchers at Leeds Beckett. The Leeds Beckett team evaluated ‘Dementia Diaries’, a project which documents the day-to-day lives of people living with dementia as a series of audio diaries, with the aim of prompting a richer dialogue about what it is like to live with the condition. The researchers found that participants and their family members spoke positively about taking part in the project, saying it gave them something constructive to focus on. Participants also spoke of the importance of the project in allowing them to give their views and helping their voices to be heard. They also felt taking part strengthened family relationships and enabled better support from peers.

Read the full article at