March 18, 2015
Community placement upends students' notions of dementia
Second-year nursing students in their community practice with cognitively impaired adults are learning about the power of art to open the mind.
In fall 2014, a student group was placed with the Alzheimer Society of Calgary (ASC) to help launch an Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program at a number of adult day programs around Calgary. OMA began in the U.S. in 2007 with a mission to build bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art.
Before meeting their clients, the students received training from the ASC on the OMA program itself, what dementia is and also the Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s care which suggests that what a person with dementia needs most is a friend who empathizes with their situation and helps them feel secure and valued.