*iStock photo
*iStock photo

Two charities have teamed up to help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia rediscover the joys of art and music.

The partnership between WindReach and Action on Alzheimer’s and Dementia (AAD) has been highlighted as charities in the United Kingdom mark Dementia Awareness Week this week.

The group has been meeting at WindReach’s Warwick headquarters every Monday since the beginning of February,

And the new initiative, which also involves laughing therapy and animal interaction, has proven to be a huge success.

Chris Backeberg, education and recreation co-ordinator at WindReach said: “On a clinical level there is good research that indicates activities involving art, music, sound, movement, appropriate games and other connecting activities improves the health and wellbeing of people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“Participants in our groups are experiencing moments of fun and joy, connection with others and a sense of belonging.

“The caregivers who accompany the participants are equally engaged in the activities and the result is a new community of people who face the same challenges day in and day out sharing with each other, learning from each other and feeling support and connection in what can otherwise be isolating, wearing and frustrating spaces. “

The group of seniors, which number between five and eight, meet up at WindReach every Monday between 10am and 12 noon.

A caregiver accompanies each senior and WindReach provides volunteer caregivers for those who do not have one.

Liz Stewart, president of ADD added: “We have always known that art therapy is a great thing, we just never had a facility.

“The WindReach facility works perfectly and it is a great match.

“We also really appreciate the help Zurich have provided us with to make this partnership work.

“I know the people who take part in it love it, it’s a real success story.

“And there is a great sense of camaraderie too, which is great because dementia can be very isolating.”