Photo: The launch of ‘Art with You’ by National Gallery Singapore and Dementia Singapore on 14 October 2022. (Photo: National Gallery Singapore)
After a two-year pilot study, National Gallery Singapore and Dementia Singapore launched ‘Art with You’ on 14 October 2022, for caregivers and their loved ones living with dementia!
Dementia is one of the most debilitating health conditions faced by Singapore’s rapidly ageing population. Based on current local estimates, one in 10 seniors aged 60 and above – or around 86,000 people – may have dementia, and this number could rise to 130,000 or more by 2030, according to experts. Studies have shown that arts engagement, a non-pharmacological approach, has the potential to enhance the quality of life for persons living with dementia and their caregivers.
Building on these studies, National Gallery Singapore and Dementia Singapore embarked on a two-year pilot study to develop Art with You – an evidence-based museum programme which aims to foster positive and meaningful engagement that supports the wellbeing of caregivers and persons with dementia. It also combines people-centred care with arts engagement to create an inclusive environment where persons with dementia are valued, respected, and empowered.
“The Gallery has always championed the benefits of art for social, emotional and mental well-being. As a public institution, we are in a unique position to connect with communities and care for their overall well-being by creating new opportunities for all to positively experience art. We look forward to completing trainings for our Front-of House staff and become the next arts venue to be listed as a Dementia Go-To Point. By creating a more inclusive social space, we hope that persons living with dementia and their caregivers will be encouraged to visit the Gallery and enjoy the experiences and connections that our art can bring,” said Ms Suenne Megan Tan, Senior Director, Museum Planning & Audience Engagement at National Gallery Singapore.
Jason Foo, CEO of Dementia Singapore said, “Through Art with You, we want to provide new and effective ways of caring for persons with dementia, and empower the community through these enriching experiences. By facilitating more opportunities for positive interactions, we hope that this programme will encourage more persons with dementia to step out of their homes, experience some art activities, and mingle with the trained staff and volunteers at the Gallery. Such interactions not only improve the quality of life of persons with dementia and their families, but also bring us forward towards fostering a Dementia-Friendly Singapore.”
Visitors may experience Art with You in two different formats. Guided group tour experiences are currently available for community groups, whereby trained Gallery volunteers will bring persons with dementia and their caregivers to view specially selected artworks and promote engagement based on them. For self-guided visits, an Art with You Caregivers Guide and Art Kit (art-making materials) have been created to support their experience.
Art with You is proudly supported by The Majurity Trust Silver Is Gold Fund and President’s Challenge.
Watch the video here or on YouTube:
To experience Art with You, visitors may pick up the Caregivers Guide at National Gallery Singapore’s Visitor Services counters from 14 October 2022. To book facilitated group sessions for community groups, email [email protected].
For more information and to access the full report, please visit the National Gallery website.