What is Arts for Brain Health?

Social prescribing to cultural, creative and wellbeing activity is transforming peri-diagnostic experience of dementia and empowers people to preserve their brain health

D-IAGNOSIS! Arts to Preserve Wellbeing (copyright: Jane Frere for A4D)
D-IAGNOSIS! Arts to Preserve Wellbeing, 2019 (© Jane Frere, for A4D).

Thanks to surgery-based social prescribing, GPs can refer patients to weekly A.R.T.S. (wide-ranging Activities to Revitalise The Soul) from the onset of symptoms – earlier than ever before – to help relieve isolating stress and strain for them and their family partners in the months/years leading to diagnosis. If they are engaged in a social A.R.T.S. group when diagnosis comes, their sense of purpose and identity, their resilience and fulfilling active life in the community can continue, despite dementia.

Lockdown has shown how enjoying arts, sociably, even on zoom, provides a lifeline out of isolation, to learn a new skill, create, challenge ourselves. People with mild cognitive impairment and early dementia symptoms need this encouraging opportunity.