August 2016 | Issue 33
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It’s no secret that the global population is aging at an unprecedented rate, and, like elsewhere, the rise in the percentage of older adults will have major social and economic ramifications across Canada.
The statistics on the health impacts of aging are compelling. By 2031 almost 1.4 million older Canadians are expected to be living with cognitive impairment, including dementia. Taking a purely economic view, the costs associated with dementia are expected to rise from $33 billion in 2011 to $293 billion by 2040. This is to say nothing about the tremendous social impact. We need to start looking for creative solutions now.
Fortunately, there is growing research being conducted on an international level  into the connections that the Arts have on those suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Johns Hopkins University also recently awarded a research grant to a group looking at how Side-by-Side Singing leads to Improvement in Quality of Life for Dementia Patients and their Caregivers.
Meanwhile in Canada, some of the many therapeutic initiatives by various groups to engage older adults in art and music across the country will be highlighted in the Creative Expression, Communication and Dementia (CECD) conference being held in Vernon, B.C. from September 8th10th.  There will undoubtedly be a lot to discuss about the positive impact that the Arts can have on those with Dementia.
At Arts Health Network Canada our aim is to inform Canadians about the current role of arts in health, and help take it to the next level where goal-directed arts programs will become integrated with health care for a better quality of health and life.  We welcome your input and news about initiatives in your community.  

Yours in Arts & Health
The AHNC Team

Hospital Takes Creative Approach to Improving Life for People with Dementia

REMINISCENCE rooms and 'twiddlemuffs' made by crafters have improved life for patients with dementia at Whiston Hospital.

The group also crafts quilts for premature babies and care home residents.



Vincent Salas 

As a self-taught Puerto Rican Artist, social, political, and spiritual issues are of great importance to my work. In 1975, I emerged on canvas with my graffiti name –DO IT – and became a member of the Nation of Graffiti Artists (N.O.G.A.) combined in spray paint with collage and construction. My work continued in many forms, including: found object, mixed media, construction, collage, acrylic,



Sean Muir

Sean Muir is Cree and the Founder/ Executive Director of the Healthy Aboriginal Network. HAN creates comic books on health and social issues for youth.


Perceptions of a Videogame-Based Dance Exercise Program Among Individuals with Parkinson's Disease.

Familiar Music as an Enhancer of Self-consciousness in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease
Make sure to check out Arts Health BC's ever-growing database of arts & health journal articles on Mendeley.

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