Quick on the draw to help dementia patients

11 Jan 2022 11:22
Published by: Scott Callan

BUDDING artists in Stockport and the High Peak are being asked to send in designs for a new art project to support people living with dementia.

A competition has been launched calling for pictures for a new therapeutic colouring book which will help to provide a calming activity to help soothe them and put them at ease.

The call comes from Ruth Terry, matron for dementia care at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.

Ruth provides support for patients living with dementia both at Stepping Hill Hospital and those accessing local community NHS services in the area.

People living with dementia can be disorientated, anxious and scared, and being in an unfamiliar environment such as a hospital this can heighten these feelings. They can also feel helpless, bored and frustrated.

For many, art can play an important role in countering these feelings. Having an activity to do can really help someone living with dementia feel useful, engaged, safe and have a purpose. The new art colouring book can play an important in this process.

The challenge is this: to draw an A4 size picture with clear black outlines that a person living with dementia could use to colour in. The drawings should be clear and not too detailed. The artwork can be either a picture of a scene or a pattern.

The best drawings will be added into the new art book which will be available to patients. It will be a free resource for people living with dementia receiving care in both the hospital and the community.

There's a prize for some of the best entries too: a gift voucher for the three best drawings is up for grabs, as well as all the winning drawings being part of the new book. Providing permission is granted, each artist will be named in the book.

Ruth said: "Being in hospital can be a scary and disorienting experience for someone living with dementia.

"While everyone with dementia is different, for many, art therapy can be really a huge assistance through a traumatic time.

"When someone feels calmer and safe, they are not only likely to be happier and less agitated, they are more likely to eat and drink better, which can also help reduce the risk of falls.

"It can also help them to engage with other activities such as physiotherapy assessments and treatment as well. We think the new book will be a real help with that."

To take part, either email your drawings and contact form to ruth.terry@stockport.nhs.uk or post to Ruth Terry, Birch House, Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport, SK2 7JE by the closing date of January 17.

The winners will be announced on January 28. Each drawing requires a contact form to be completed and attached - without a contact form the drawing will not be able to enter into the competition.

For the contact form, and further information including examples of designs visit the trust website. Further enquiries can be sent to Ruth at ruth.terry@stockport.nhs.uk

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