Creative ageing: Evaluating dementia-friendly, arts-based programs in Port Macquarie, NSW using an authentic partnership approach

Rylee Dionigi, Rosemary Black, Sherry L. Dupuis, Debbie Sommers, Lisa Hort, Maree Bernoth

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review


Our project is framed in an authentic partnership approach that involves 'working with' people living with dementia as partners, rather than 'caring for' them (Dupuis et al., 2012). This approach aligns with the relationship model of care; recognises how people living with dementia have traditionally been excluded; values joint learning and sharing; and incorporates the ‘lived experiences’ of everyone involved. It also includes regular critical reflection and highlights the collective capacity for social change and personal empowerment, particularly for people living with dementia (Dupuis et al., 2012).Specifically, we want to enhance the quality of life of people living with dementia in the Port Macquarie area by examining their experiences in creative and arts-based programs. The arts are a powerful way to transform the lives of individuals and reduce the stigma and social exclusion associated with people living with dementia (Baines, 2007; Bungay & Clift, 2010; Dupuis et al., 2016a,b). Current local dementia-friendly, Arts and Health programs, such as Creative Ageing Art, Hands-On-Heritage and TimeSlips Heritage, have not been formally researched, despite Port Macquarie being recognised by Dementia Australia NSW as a community taking positive steps to make it dementia-friendly (Bartholomew & Moore, 2014). We intend to conduct six in-depth qualitative case studies on such programs from the perspectives and experiences of people living with dementia, their families, carers, health care workers and community members through in-depth interviews, focus groups and observations. Our qualitative research approach allows us to tap into people’s perceptions, memories and hopes, which gets to the heart of what a positive care experience looks like for people living with dementia (Dupuis, 2016b). Our findings will include the voices and contributions of people living with dementia, resulting in an evidence-based model, and guidelines for others delivering similar programs in Australia. Therefore, our research has the potential to translate into better clinical practice by collecting stories of dementia care in a variety of ways, identifying program strengths and best-practice examples of quality care experiences, and then using these as a foundation to facilitate change and improve care experiences for everyone involved (Dupuis et al., 2016b).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018
Event10th Annual International Arts and Health Conference 2018: Art of Good Health and Wellbeing Conference - Sails Hotel, Port Macquarie, Australia
Duration: 12 Nov 201815 Nov 2018


Conference10th Annual International Arts and Health Conference 2018
CityPort Macquarie
Internet address


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