Creative interventions for older age and dementia care

The DSDC is known internationally for its work in developing and evaluating psychosocial interventions in dementia. It has led and contributed to authoritative systematic reviews, establishing the evidence-base for what are sometimes described as ‘non-pharmacological therapies’ in dementia care. DSDC is best known for its work on cognitive stimulation and reminiscence work, and for its collaboration with the REACH group on cognitive rehabilitation. Working closely with NWORTH, the Bangor clinical trials unit, with its unparalleled expertise in dementia care trials, ensures the rigour and credibility of the evaluations undertaken. Treatment manuals have been developed for many of these approaches.

There is a huge interest in creative arts programmes for people with dementia. Our work has been at the forefront of interdisciplinary research, combining social sciences, arts, humanities and practice-led methodology to address key research gaps and creatively engage with the public and stakeholders. To this end our work has led the development of arts and science research which aims to improve the evidence base for effective service provision, contribute to the development of interdisciplinary methods for evaluating arts activities in dementia care, develop creative approaches for practice development and improve awareness and understanding of dementia.


  • Can arts increase quality of life and well-being in care home residents with dementia? An exploratory study
  • Dementia and Imagination
  • 'Creative Conversations': An exploratory study of an arts in health approach to embedding person-centred care and improving communication between care staff and people living with dementia. Health and Care Research Wales Social Care Research Award £203,286.00 (Dr Kat Algar, Lead investigator, Dr Gill Windle co-investigator)
  • ‘Created out of Mind’: Shaping perceptions of dementia through art and science. The Wellcome Trust Residency Hub, £1,087,059.00. October 2016 for 22 months. (Dr Gill Windle co-investigator and Dr Kat Algar a collaborator)

  • Independent Evaluation of cARTrefu – arts in care settings. Age Cymru, £24,874, January 2015 – May 2017. (Dr Kat Algar lead investigator)


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