Debbie Brittain works in the Learning team at QAGOMA and is interested in life-long learning for all ages and abilities. Debbie has developed and facilitates QAGOMA’s Art and Dementia Program to enable access to the gallery’s Collection for visitors with dementia and their care partner.
Debbie will be speaking at:
Museums, Health & Wellbeing Summit
Tuesday, 7th February 2023
Enhancing Well-Being of Gallery Visitors Living with Dementia: A Therapeutic Model
The program’s therapeutic format is shaped around contemporary dementia care principles and focuses on ability and strengths rather than disability. It aims to enhance well-being and mood of participants through a specially curated visual, auditory, environmental and sensory format with socialisation and autonomy being key. The program continued as the first face-to-face on-site (non-virtual) audience engagement program post COVID-19 closure. The COVID-safe format was sought after by those with dementia who already live with isolation and marginalisation in the community. The QAGOMA program and staff were acknowledged by Dementia Australia in 2021 as a Dementia-Friendly Organisation, and lead the way in cultural institutions in Australia in terms of dementia-friendly practice. This is just one of many unique and essential components of sustaining an evidence-based, well-being program that authentically supports quality of life of gallery goers living with dementia.