Harmoni Cymru performing at Barry Hospital

The Staff Lottery Bids Panel recently supported a project to develop and advance a series of art sessions to deliver to the Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) wards at University Hospital Llandough and Barry Hospital.

Within dementia care, it is well known that aspects of rhythm and patterns are maintained when other processing and executive skills are often lost. Capturing this ability to engage is important and brings joy to patients but also family who may have seen significant changes in ability. It can allow a form of communication that is not seen day to day.

BBC Orchestra accompanying a Rubicon session

The Staff Lottery funding supports three different art forms being delivered on the wards. The first one is a weekly visual arts workshop, delivered by a local artist Katie Keeble. This offers an opportunity for patients to explore a variety of mediums like painting, sculpture and collage, promoting movement and utilising sensory avenues to engage dementia patients who are at a more advanced stage of their illness.

The second art form will explore movement through workshops delivered by Rubicon Dance, who will provide interactive movement and dance sessions to the patients. This will be an opportunity for participants to increase mobility and express themselves through dance.

The bid also supports the delivery of live music through a weekly programme of concerts from two musicians from Harmoni Cymru, which will allow patients to engage in music, song, interaction and rhythm. Rhythm is an element that patients with dementia often have preserved and find easier to access even at the advanced stage of the illness, and often allows them to communicate and access memories.

St David’s Day Craft/Art Session

Tim Nicholls, the Clinician Nurse Specialist for Dementia, gathered feedback from patients regarding a concert, which speaks volumes of the positive impact the sessions will have over the course of the year. The comments include:

“Very, very, very good, very warm, excellent, and I was able to participate.”

“I liked everything, very good style, amazing, took me back years to memories good and bad.”

“Nice to remember old times.”

The sessions are now taking place across MHSOP wards, and are being appreciated by the participants, who are actively engaging with the multitude of art forms. The Staff Lottery Bids Panel are delighted to support the project to bring creativity and excitement to the wards.

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