Road to Connection: arts-based lifeline for caregivers of people with dementia

Care Education Research

“We created a new program for people living with mild to moderate dementia and their spouses. Dementia can cause a real strain on relationships, so we’ve designed this program to help both caregivers and their partner with dementia find new ways to communicate. This is the first time we’ve paired an arts based program for people with cognitive challenges with a support group for caregivers. It’s important for people to know that they’re not alone and that help is available to support them through this new stage in their relationship.”

– Renee Climans, Social Worker and Therapist at Baycrest Health Sciences

The Road to Connection weaves together three evidence-based interventions into a combined model that provides an emotionally focused psychosocial group intervention for the spouses of people with dementia and a separate group which melds arts based and cognitive interventions for their partners. The ultimate goal of this program is to decrease the burden that some family caregivers feel, while increasing the quality of life for both the family care provider and the person with dementia, and decreasing premature institutionalization of people affected by dementia. Offering this innovative program has helped Baycrest clinicians increase their knowledge about evidence-based targeted interventions for people with dementia. This program was made possible with support from the Hy and Bertha Shore and Harry and Sara Gorman Award and the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation.